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Heat Stroke In Older Adults: Prevention And Immediate Treatment

Jun 14, 2018 by Jorge Preciado

Home care assistants can help prevent from having a stroke this summer

Heat stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency that develops as a result of overheating and prolonged exposure to sun and high temperatures. The consequences of heat stroke can range from mild to severe and include brain and internal organ damage and sometimes even death.

Seniors are particularly at risk of developing heat-related problems because they adjust to heat more slowly than younger individuals. However, home care professionals would like to point out that heat stroke and heat-related injuries can be prevented. With certain adjustments in their daily routine, seniors can remain safe and healthy during the warm summer months.

To help your seniors adequately protect themselves from heat-related injuries, home care experts propose adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Some medications may reduce the body’s ability to adequately regulate heat and manage hydration, so make sure you take extra precaution with your doses.
  • Wear brimmed hats and light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made from light fabrics, such as linen and cotton.
  • Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day, even when you’re not feeling thirsty.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities when temperatures are high.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption or even better – avoid alcohol altogether.
  • Stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day.
  • If you do go outside in mid-day, stick with air-conditioned spaces, such as libraries, shopping malls, restaurants, etc.
  • Keep the home air-conditioned.

Even with these precautions, some seniors may still develop heat stroke. Throbbing headache, nausea, fainting, rapid breathing, confusion or agitation, lack of sweating, flushed dry or hot red skin are some of the most common heat stroke symptoms. If your senior mom or dad is showing one or more of the abovementioned signs, home care experts urge you to proceed in the following manner:

  • Transfer your loved one to a cooler, shady place and cool them down by applying cold water to their chest and head.
  • If your senior mom or dad is conscious, give them something to drink.
  • Closely monitor their body temperature with a thermometer and do everything you can to lower it below 102 Fahrenheit.
  • Call 911.

When heat stroke occurs, receiving immediate medical attention is of paramount importance. Following these professional home care guidelines can ensure a swift response.

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