Signs of Heat Exhaustion in Seniors

By April 20, 2018Senior Living
Heat Exhaustion and Assisted Living

Heat exhaustion is something that can happen to anyone during the warmer months of the year. However, the spring and summer seasons put heat exhaustion as a code red risk for many people. One portion of the population that is particularly susceptible to heat complications is the elderly community.

Knowing the danger of heat exhaustion and how to prevent it can be the difference between life and death in the senior community. Cornerstone Senior Living believes in the safety of our residents and is eager to bring you the knowledge about the signs and prevention techniques against heat exhaustion.

What Are the Signs of Heat Exhaustion?

The warning signs of heat-related complications usually start out with a decline in energy while being out in the sun. This should be the first tip to getting out of the warm weather and into a cooler location in the Assisted Living community. Some of the more serious signs that point to help being immediately needed are:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Chest Pain
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Breathing Complications
  • Fainting

How Dangerous is Heat Exhaustion for Seniors?

Heat stress is a dangerous situation for seniors. Elderly individuals aged 65 and older are more susceptible to heat exhaustion because their bodies are not able to adjust quickly to sudden changes in temperature.

This is due to the high likelihood that they are taking prescription medications that would impair the body’s ability to either control temperature or release perspiration.

While heat exhaustion itself is dangerous, the most serious heat-related illness is heat stroke. This occurs when the body is completely unable to control its temperature and is unable to cool down.

Heat stroke can cause permanent health complications or even death if emergency care is not administered.

Preventing Heat Exhaustion for Seniors

While heat exhaustion is dangerous, the good news is that seniors are able to take specific steps that can easily help them prevent having to suffer from any heat stress.   In a Cornerstone Senior Living Community, these steps are part of their hydration programs during the spring and summer months.

1. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is extremely important during warmer Texas months. Keep a water bottle nearby and remember to continuously drink, even if you are not necessarily thirsty. This will keep your body feeling fresh and hydrated during your daily routine.

2. Stay Indoors During Peak Heat Hours

Although the temperature will fluctuate throughout spring and summer, checking the daily forecast is important. Try to stay indoors at an air-conditioned location during what will be peak hours of heat. Enjoy an evening walk around your assisted living community, instead of a heated situation during the day.

3. Dress for the Season

Dressing for the season is also very important for cooling off. Remember to wear lightweight, breathable clothing when going out, and to also avoid darker colors during exposure to the sun. Dark colors draw in sun rays and can lead to quicker exhaustion.

4. Decrease Exertion

If you are in Independent Living and you must be outside during the day, please decrease the amount of energy that you put into activities. Rest, take breaks, and as always, remember to keep drinking that water bottle.

5. Taking Diuretics?

If you or your loved one is taking diuretics you are at an even higher risk for heat stroke. Drink even more water than usual and decrease caffeinated drinks and alcohol.

Cornerstone Senior Living Keeps Our Communities Cool

If you have a loved one in need of assisted living or are looking for a new community to live out your golden years, look no further than Cornerstone Senior Living communities. Our communities are comfortable, safe locations that offer the best in senior living for the warmer months of the year. Get in touch with one of our communities today to schedule a tour and find out more about the amenities that we have to offer your loved one.