Owners' Blog

May 27th is Heat Awareness Day

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

Elder Care in Buford GA

With the beginning of summer comes warm, sunny days and many opportunities for elderly adults and their caregivers to spend time outdoors. Though summer weather can certainly be beautiful, elderly adults in particular should be vigilant about protecting themselves from extreme heat. The fact is that heat is responsible for hundreds of deaths every year in the United States and it can also cause serious illness, especially in the elderly. In the summer months, caregivers of elderly adults should be aware of the temperature and weather forecasts each day and should also be knowledgeable about the warning signs and ways to prevent heat-related illness. May 27th is observed as Heat Awareness Day, a day for people of all ages to review heat safety tips before the very hot months of summer begin. For caregivers of elderly adults, here is some useful information about heat-related illness to keep in mind this summer

What are the dangers of extreme heat?

In extreme heat, the body is unable to cool itself down properly. In addition, fluid loss due to excessive sweating can cause dehydration, which further exacerbates heat-related illness. Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition. If your loved one has a temperature of 102 degrees and continues to get hotter, it is considered a medical emergency and you should call 911 immediately. Other signs of fatal heat stroke include sweating, red skin, confusion or fainting, vomiting and nausea, difficulty breathing, and a fast heart beat.

How can I help prevent heat related illness in my loved one?

There are many ways caregivers can help their loved one to avoid heat related illness including fatal heat stroke. First, always check the forecast before going outdoors for an outdoor activity, even if it will be a short one. Pay attention to both the heat and the humidity, as temperatures in the 80s can still be dangerous when the humidity is high. If your loved one must be outside, encourage them to avoid the hottest part of the day which is 10a.m. to 2p.m. When spending time outside in warm weather, your loved one should make sure that they are drinking plenty of water, especially when exercising. If your loved one feels too warm, encourage them to cool down by going inside, in the shade, or taking a cool bath or shower.

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/tc/heat-related-illnesses-prevention
http://knowbefore.weatherbug.com/2013/05/24/heat-awareness-day-dealing-with-a-major-killer/

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Buford, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.