Chronic health conditions can worsen when summer’s heat and humidity pick up. If your mom or dad has a chronic health condition like heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, or asthma, make sure they take precautions to stay safe.
The Heat’s Effect on the Body Temperature
Elderly people tend to have a harder time regulating body temperature. They don’t sweat as much. Sweat is the body’s way of cooling down the core temperature. If a senior isn’t sweating as much, there is no moisture on the skin to evaporate and help cool the body down. For sweat that is produced, it takes essential minerals like potassium and sodium from the body. This can lead to an imbalance that affects the nerves.
If the humidity is high, the sweat on the skin won’t be able to evaporate as easily. Humidity adds to the moisture on your skin, so the cooling effect won’t work.
As the core temperature increases, the heart works harder to circulate the blood around the body. It needs the blood to cool down, so it works harder to pump that blood to the skin. It also needs the blood that’s been near the surface of the skin to get pushed inside. This puts additional strain on the heart as the blood has to move from internal areas to the skin surface more frequently.
The body heat is transferred from the skin to the air around you. If the air around you is warmer than your body temperature, the transfer can’t happen. There’s no way to cool the blood down, so the body’s core temperature will keep rising.
When air conditioning is not an option, your parents can keep their body temperature down with this trick. Wear a t-shirt and wear that. It will be cool and damp, but it keeps the body cooler as the moisture evaporates.
Worsening Air Quality Makes It Harder to Breathe
When it’s really hot, pollutants form closer to the ground. Some ozone is usually absorbed by plants, but excessive heat can slow this. With increasing ozone production and slower absorption by plants, ozone levels can increase to dangerous levels.
Increased ozone in the air irritates the lungs and slows lung function. This can worsen the odds of having an asthma attack. For a senior with cardiovascular health issues, this becomes dangerous. It’s the key reason you hear people need to stay indoors if they have heart disease, asthma, or COPD.
To make sure your parent stays inside and stays cool, set up home care services. Caregivers can make sure your parent drinks enough water, avoids outdoor activities, and has help around if the heat affects overall health. Call a home care agency to learn more about caregivers.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Home Care Services in Seminole, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.