Pro­tect rel­a­tives from heat-re­lated is­sues

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - SENIOR LIFE - A press re­lease from Griswold Home Care

Of the 8,000-plus heat-re­lated deaths re­ported an­nu­ally in the United States, 36 per­cent are among those age 65 and older, ac­cord­ing to a Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol Heat-Re­lated Ill­ness Survey. Hos­pi­tal­iza­tions for heat-re­lated symp­toms in­crease for those over 85.

Ev­ery­one wants to en­sure their loved ones are com­fort­able and safe dur­ing the hot weather, but check­ing up on neigh­bors and non-rel­a­tives can go a long way to­ward stem­ming the tide of heat and de­hy­dra­tion deaths. Griswold Home Care of Mont­gomery/Delaware/ Bucks Coun­ties of­fers the fol­low­ing ad­vice:

• Per­form an air con­di­tioner check. Air con­di­tion­ing is the top pro­tec­tion against heat-re­lated ill­ness. If the home isn’t air con­di­tioned, buy a room unit or en­cour­age your loved one to go to a pub­lic place dur­ing the hottest hours of the day, like a li­brary or se­nior cen­ter.

• Avoid de­hy­dra­tion. Non-al­co­holic bev­er­ages will re­place the body’s salts and min­er­als re­leased from sweat­ing. Put a glass of wa­ter in every room, and en­cour­age sip­ping from them through­out the day. Fre­quently drink­ing small amounts is the best way to stay hy­drated. Check your loved one’s urine; light yel­low means they’re get­ting enough to drink; darker yel­low means they’re not. Other symp­toms in­clude very dry skin, dizzi­ness, rapid heart­beat or rapid breath­ing.

• Know the signs of heat ex­haus­tion. Too much heat can cause heat ex­haus­tion or, even worse, heat stroke. Heat ex­haus­tion hap­pens when you be­come de­hy­drated and your body is un­able to re­place the fluid and elec­trolytes it has lost. The signs of heat ex­haus­tion in­clude heavy sweat­ing, nau­sea and feel­ing light­headed and faint.

If body tem­per­a­ture con­tin­ues to rise, it can re­sult in heat­stroke, a se­ri­ous med­i­cal con­di­tion. Signs of heat­stroke in­clude faint­ing, a body tem­per­a­ture above 104 de­grees F, con­fu­sion, flushed skin, ir­ri­tabil­ity and act­ing deliri­ous. If you’re around some­one with signs of heat ex­haus­tion, call 911.

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