Aging adults are far more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. And as every summer seems to get hotter and presents more of a challenge to the power grid and to staying cool, it’s important to understand the various factors that make heat more complicated for your senior.
Health Conditions Affect How Her Body Reacts to Heat
Your senior’s body responds differently to temperature and regulates temperature differently as she ages, but her health also impacts those activities. If your elderly family member has heart disease or kidney issues, her body is already struggling to maintain certain bodily functions. Add extremely hot weather to the mix and her body is working even harder and might not be able to keep up.
Medications and Side Effects Also Change How She Responds to Heat
Medications are a wonderful thing, especially when they help your senior to deal with otherwise debilitating health issues. But medications all have side effects, and some of those side effects can change how your senior’s body responds to heat and to changes in temperature. Some, like diuretics, can make problems like dehydration even worse. Elder care providers can help your senior to watch for symptoms that mean her medications might need to be adjusted in hot weather.
More Likely to Be Dehydrated
Seniors are more likely to avoid drinking as much water as they should. Whether your senior just forgets to drink plenty of fluids or she doesn’t like the taste of water, that can prove to be a very big problem. Finding ways to help her to stay hydrated is key for her overall health, but also for avoiding heat-related illnesses more easily. One solution might be to bring in home care providers to remind your senior to stay hydrated.
Her Diet Can Play a Part, Too
What your senior eats is important as well. If she’s on a diet that restricts her salt intake, for instance, that can affect her internal body chemistry. Not eating enough can affect how her brain works, too, leaving her confused and maybe making decisions that aren’t the best ones for the weather conditions. Talk with your senior’s doctor about whether her dietary choices might be impacting her health during hotter weather.
Keeping your senior safe and comfortable is absolutely vital when the weather is hot outside. Home care providers can keep an eye on variables that might impact your senior’s ability to stay cool, and they’re great at keeping your senior company, too.