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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat-related illnesses and fatalities can be prevented easily. However, approximately 700 people still die every year because of extreme heat in the United States.

While too much heat isn’t good for anyone, adults are at an increased risk of health problems when it comes to hot weather.

The umbrella term for the different illnesses caused by extreme heat is hyperthermia. These problems include heat syncope, heat cramps, heat edema and heat exhaustion.

In this blog we’ll focus primarily on heat exhaustion and how it can be prevented in older adults.

What’s Heat Exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is essentially the body’s response to excessive loss of water and salt because of heavy sweating. Older adults along with people with high blood pressure and those who work in hot environments are especially vulnerable to this condition.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Thirst
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Sweating

Preventing Heat Exhaustion in Older Adults

Here are some precautionary measures the elder people should follow to beat heat exhaustion.

Increase Liquid Intake

As the water and salt levels in the body decrease because of excessive sweating, and cause dehydration, it’s extremely important to make up for the lost amounts by increasing your liquid intake. Even if you’re not thirsty, make sure you consume water or juice every other chance you get.

Dress Appropriately

Weather-appropriate dressing can help you prevent heat exhaustion. When it’s hot outside, wear light colors, loosely fitted and lightweight clothes. A hat and sunglasses are also must-haves.

Limit Outdoor Activity

During the mid-day hours, when the sun is at its peak, it’s better to stay inside. Outdoor activities and errands should be done when it’s relatively cool outside, which is either after 6 p.m. or before 10 a.m.

Seek Air-Conditioned Environments

If you don’t have an air conditioner at home, we suggest that you find a cool place such as the library, mall or a senior center to spend the hottest parts of the day.

Connect With AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care!

AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care is a luxurious senior living community in Calabasas, CA that provides 24 hour specialized care and support to its senior residents.

We’re a certified Positive Approach to Care (PAC) community offering a wide range of retirement facilities, top-notch services and amenities that suit the unique interests and needs of the residents.

You can take a virtual tour of our senior living community here.