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Beat The Heat This Summer: Safety For Seniors

Beat The Heat This Summer: Safety for Seniors

Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), extreme heat cased 7,415 deaths in the United States between 1999 and 2010? Now is the time to ensure you and your family are prepared for when the temperature becomes dangerously high. By taking a few simple precautions, you can make sure you and your loved ones stay safe this summer.

Keep an eye on the humidity: It is more difficult for sweat to evaporate when the humidity reaches high levels. This prevents your body from releasing heat, causing it to overheat quickly. When the humidity is high, it’s safest for the elderly, infants and children to stay indoors.

Limit mid-day activity: The sun is at its hottest during the middle of the day. If you are trying to stick with a fitness or exercise regimen during the summer, make sure you do so early in the morning, before 8:00 am, or in the evening, around 6:00 pm, when the temperature has dropped a bit.

Dress appropriately: Wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes can make a big difference when the temperatures are high. Be sure to dress appropriately.

Visit your loved ones: Elderly loved ones with cognitive issues may have a hard time describing symptoms of heat-related illnesses over the phone. If the heat index in your area is high, be sure to check on your friends and family members in person so you can ensure they are safe and comfortable.

Keep medication safe: When temperatures get high, make sure any medication is stored in a safe place. Keep medication away from windows and direct sunlight, and in a cool part of your home. If you are unsure how best to care for your medication, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.

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