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As the hot summer months are well underway, so are the dangers the heat and humidity may have on the health of older adults. Elders are especially susceptible to developing heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke. This condition is usually the result of other heat-related problems, such as dehydration and occurs due to extended periods of time in hot temperatures, making it difficult for elders to control their body’s temperature.
Some of the symptoms of heat stroke to look for include:
  • Dizziness
  • Unable to sweat
  • Throbbing headache
  • Red, hot, itching skin
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid shallow breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Changes in behavior, such as confusion or disorientation
If your loved one is recovering from a heat stroke, a senior care provider could help by following these recovery tips.
  • Apply ice packs to the groin, armpit, back, and neck. These areas have a lot of blood vessels, so adding ice will help to quickly cool the body down and bring it back to a normal body temperature.
  • Wet the skin with a cool sponge or washcloth, while fanning the skin.
  • Take a cool bath or shower to significantly reduce the elder’s body heat. An ice bath is also very affective at cooling the body off.
If these ideas do not help your loved one recover from a heat stroke quickly, 911 should immediately be contacted.
Heat Stroke Risk Factors
Heat stroke most commonly affects older adults who live in apartments or homes that lack air conditioning or air flow. However, there are several reasons your loved one may be at risk for this condition.
  • Heat index: the heat index is how hot you feel when humidity and heat are combined. By having a relative humidity of at least 60 percent, the body easily becomes overheated because it can’t produce sweat. This is especially true for the older population.
  • Urban area: people who live in urban areas are more prone to heat stroke and other heat-related areas. The reason for this is because of the excessive asphalt and concrete areas that cause heat from the sun to bounce off of it.
  • Consuming dehydrating drinks: consuming too much alcohol or caffeine could cause the body to dehydrate, which may lead to heat stroke.
If you think your loved one is suffering from heat stroke, try these recovery tips.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional senior care in Rock Ridge, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203