Heat-related illnesses range from sunburn to mild heat rash all the way to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Your senior might be more susceptible to these ailments brought about by heat. Some of these variables are ones to watch for with your senior.
Just Being Older
Age itself can be a huge factor in whether or not your senior experiences difficulty with heat-related illnesses. Little changes in how his body functions now versus when he was younger can make a big difference when he’s outside in the heat. Your elderly family member might not notice heat the same way now as he did in the past, either.
The Medications She Takes
Medications and side effects are not an unusual combination, of course, but you might not know about some of the medications that could interact with heat or with the sun. Talk to your senior’s doctor and his pharmacist about what types of medications might make him more susceptible to heat and to sunlight so you can prepare.
If She’s Dehydrated
Dehydration can be a huge problem in the heat. If your senior doesn’t realize he’s dehydrated, the heat just makes the entire situation worse for him. Try to make drinking plenty of water something that is enjoyable for your senior. That might mean including herbal teas in place of plain water and simply making water intake more fun.
Lung, Kidney, and Circulatory Issues
When your senior’s major organs, like his heart, kidneys, and lungs, aren’t functioning properly that creates other issues. He may not be able to keep up with the demands that heat places on his body because the inner systems that support hydration are already taxed.
High Blood Pressure
Higher than normal blood pressure can create electrolyte imbalances in your senior’s body, particularly if she’s cut back on sodium in her diet and is sweating a good bit. All of this can create a perfect storm for her to be more likely to suffer from heat-related illnesses if she’s not putting those electrolytes back into balance.
Keeping your elderly family member from having to deal with heat-related illnesses during hot weather depends a great deal on a lot of variables. It’s not possible to keep up with every single variable, but you can track things much easier with help. Home care providers can help you and your senior to stay on top of how he’s feeling as the weather heats up.