It is Summer Time in Texas. Time for Heat
It is also August which, is even more concerning for Texas seniors. With daily high temperatures
averaging 100 degrees plus, August is traditionally the hottest of hot months in the Lone Star State. Heat index values can easily make it feel like 110 or even hotter. Seniors, in particular, can succumb to the heat very quickly. Faster if they have other aggravating health issues.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seniors are more prone to heat stress than younger people. Chronic health conditions and prescription medicines can impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperatures or that inhibit perspiration. Seniors are more likely to be affected by both.
“I simply don’t go outside during the heat of the day,” said Ruth Holley of Waco who recently celebrated her 81st birthday. “It doesn’t take long for the heat to zap all my strength and make me short of breathe. It really wears me out.”
Ruth advises other seniors to take advantage of cooler temperatures in the morning if they must get out to do grocery shopping or run other errands.
What can you do to help protect older ad
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are two conditions that can occur to anyone exposed to excessive heat. These conditions can develop much faster in seniors.
Signs of heat exhaustion include, but are not limited to heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps and tiredness.
Signs of heat stroke, a more serious and potentially deadly condition include a body temperature above 103 and the inability to sweat. As a result, the body is unable to cool down.
The CDC offers this advice on how you can help protect older adults from blazing temperatures.
– Visit older adults at risk at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke
– Take them to air-conditioned locations if they have transportation problems.
– Encourage them to increase their fluid intake by drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages regardless of their activity level.
Warning: If their doctor generally limits the amount of fluid they drink or they are on water pills, they will need to ask their doctor how much they should drink while the weather is hot.
What actions can you take if you someone you care for is suffering from heat stress?
Immediately call for emergency medical assistance
Get the person to a shady area
Cool the person rapidly
Monitor body temperature until body temperatures falls below 102 degrees
Do not give the person alcohol to drink
Assisting Hands Home Care has offices in the Greater Houston metro area. The humidity in Houston often tops out at one-hundred percent during the summer months. If you have a loved one that lives in the Houston area and are concerned about their health due high temperatures, we can help. When you can not do it all, give Assisting Hands a call.
More information about heat-related illnesses can be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website the CDC by clicking here.