Hot Weather Safety Tips for Older Adults
Hot weather can be dangerous, especially for older adults. Every summer, nearly 200 Americans die of health problems caused by high heat and humidity—and most of them are 50 or older.
With temperatures on the First Coast soaring into the 100 degree mark, hot weather can cause health problems for older adults for a number of reasons.
Physical changes that happen with age make older people less likely to notice when they feel hot, even when outside temperatures are high. They also can't cool down as quickly or as well as younger people. Older adults are also less likely to feel thirsty, which means they're more likely to become dehydrated (a loss of too much water in your body). Heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases common in later life also increase risks of heat-related problems. Some prescription medicines and many over-the-counter drugs can cause heat related health risks. Some of these drugs include water pills, allergy and sinus pills and nerve medications.
When temperatures climb above 90 degrees F, older adults need to take precautions. Check the outside temperature on summer days before going outside. If it's above 90 degrees older people should:
How to spot and treat health problems caused by heat
It's important to recognize when hot weather is making you sick, and get help. Here's a list of health problems caused by too much heat, and how to recognize and treat them:
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