It was a long winter, and it felt like that hot summer weather was never going to come. Well, that beautiful hot weather is here and we are taking every opportunity to enjoy every part of it!
But, when that hot weather is too hot to handle, and then you factor in the humidex it can actually be quite dangerous. Especially for those with no air conditioner, or the ability to keep themselves cool. It can be extremely dangerous. How dangerous? Dangerous enough that it can put you into the hospital or worse. This goes especially for our most Vulnerable Sector, our loved ones we have homed in the Long Term Care facilities.
What are the dangers?
- The body’s natural defences against heat can weaken with age, putting seniors at risk for heat stroke (Heat stroke, which can be fatal, occurs when the body can’t control temperature), heat exhaustion, and other serious disorders.*
- Many common conditions can weaken an older person’s ability to regulate temperature, including diseases of the heart, lung, and kidneys; high blood pressure; diabetes; and other conditions that cause poor circulation*
- Older bodies can be slow to sense and respond to changes in heat, so seniors often don’t start sweating until their temperature has already soared*
- Several medications commonly prescribed to seniors can affect the body’s ability to cool down*
Early warning signs of heat exhaustion, which may precede the more serious heat stroke which can set in as early as 10 to 15 minutes and can, include excessive sweating, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache and muscle cramps.
It is our responsibility to make this our duty during the hot summer months to be mindful of these situations for ages as early as 65 and of course older.
Keep in mind the following tips when trying to stay cool;
- Stay away from direct sun exposure as much as possible. **
- Air conditioning is your friend in summer. Spend as much time as possible in air-conditioned spaces. **
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of cool water, clear juices, and other liquids that don’t contain alcohol or caffeine. **
- Dress appropriately. Whenever you can, try wearing loose, light-colored clothes. **
- Cool down! Take tepid (not too cold or too hot) showers, baths, or sponge baths when you’re feeling warm. Don’t have the time? Then wet washcloths or towels with cool water and put them on your wrists, ankles, armpits, and neck.**
So while you are caring and looking out for your loved ones that are aging, the vulnerable sector in a Long Term Care facility, please remember to take care of yourself and don’t forget your furry babies during this beautiful time of year!
~ Crystal Leopold Chartrand, Recruiter, Plan A Sudbury