Tips for elderly to beat the heat
Thanks to Prof. Dean VonDras for the reminder that the elderly are among the groups especially at risk in these sweltering summer temps. Our resident gerontology expert sent us some information from the National Institute on Aging (part of the National Institutes of Health), letting us know who’s at risk and how to prevent or cope with heat-related illness. Pre-existing disease, decreased mobility, dementia and certain medications are among the factors that can put the elderly at risk, as are age-related changes in the skin, dehydration and being substantially overweight. If caretakers suspect a heat-related problem, they are urged to move elderly individuals into an air conditioned or other cool place; urge them to lie down and rest; remove or loosen tight-fitting or heavy clothing; encourage them to drink water (but avoid caffeine) if they can do so without choking; apply cold water, ice packs or cold wet cloths; and get medical assistance as soon as possible.