Keeping Healthy in the Summer Heat: Part 2

Elderly people often have health problems that make them more vulnerable to the dangers of summer heat. Some of the additional risk factors include: poor circulation; heart, lung, and kidney disease; high blood pressure; drug reactions that hinder sweating, such as diuretics, sedatives, and some heart and blood pressure medicines; and being highly overweight or underweight.

The following are a few additional tips for staying healthy during the hot days of summer:

*If you do not live in a place with air conditioning, go somewhere where there is air conditioning, such a shopping mall, library, or other public space. You can also go visit a friend or relative that has air conditioning, or go to a movie. Do your best to be in an environment that is cool and comfortable.

*If you must leave the comfort of an air conditioned environment, try and avoid staying outside for long. Take a taxi, get a friend to drive you, or take some other form of cooled transportation. Do not wait in the hot sun for the bus to come.

*On extremely hot days, if you can’t get to the mall and you don’t have air conditioning, take a nice cool shower or bath. You will feel more comfortable, and most important, the bath will lower your body temperature.

*If you do have air conditioning, make sure that the indoor temperature does not exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit for lengthy periods of time.

*Know the signs of heat stroke: high body temperature, flushed face, headache, nausea, fast pulse, confusion and dizziness. Take immediate action if you feel these symptoms coming on.