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Dangers of Heat Related Illness in Seniors

Summer is on its way and temperatures are starting to climb. As the weather warms up, family caregivers and elderly care providers will need to be more mindful of the dangers of heat related illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who are aged 65 and older are at a greater risk of suffering from heat-related illnesses.

Elderly Care in Novato CA: Dangers of Heat Related Illness in Seniors

Elderly Care in Novato CA: Dangers of Heat Related Illness in Seniors

Older Adults at Higher Risk for Heat-Related Illness.

There are several reasons older adults are more affected by heat than younger adults, and therefore at greater risk of getting sick because of the heat. Some things that put seniors at higher risk are:

  • The bodies of older adults don’t adjust to heat as well.
  • Chronic medical conditions can change the way the body deals with elevated temperatures.
  • Some prescription medicines affect the ability to sweat and control body temperature.

Recognizing Heat Stroke.

Heat stroke is one common heat-related illness. It is also the most dangerous. Heat stroke happens when a person’s body temperature goes up rapidly and the body is unable to produce sweat to cool itself. If the senior doesn’t receive immediate treatment, they may become permanently impaired or even die. Signs of heat stroke are:

  • Body temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.
  • Skin that is red, hot, and dry.
  • A fast pulse that feels strong.
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea.

 

How to Prevent Heat-Related Illness.

Protecting your aging relative from heat-related illnesses requires taking some relatively simple steps. Things you can do to prevent heat stroke and other problems are:

  • Use air conditioning to cool the house and keep older adults indoors on very hot days.
  • Make sure the senior is drinking plenty of water, even if they do not feel thirsty.
  • Avoid using the oven or stove on hot days.
  • Advise the older adult to dress in clothes that are light colored and loose fitting.
  • Encourage the senior to rest and avoid strenuous activity when it is hot.

 

The CDC recommends that people check on their elderly relatives and neighbors when temperatures are high. When your family member has the help of an elderly care provider, you can feel more confident that they are safe on hot days. An elderly care provider can ensure the house isn’t too hot. If it is and the home is not air conditioned, the elderly care provider can drive the senior to a public place with air conditioning, such as the library, or to the air-conditioned home of a friend or relative. Elderly care providers can also make sure the older adult is drinking plenty of liquids and resting during the hottest part of the day.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Novato, CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

 

Sources

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/older-adults-heat.html

http://dailycaring.com/6-things-you-can-do-to-prevent-heat-stroke-in-seniors/

https://www.alz.org/alzwa/documents/Heat_Stress_in_the_Elderly.pdf

 

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.