Many people understand what hypothermia is. This is a serious medical emergency where the body gets too cold. What about hyperthermia? It generally doesn’t get as much attention as hypothermia, but it’s just as serious. This is a condition where the body begins overheating.
For aging seniors, hyperthermia can become an extremely dangerous situation and their body simply doesn’t have the same ability to cool down as it once did.
Yes, elderly men and women can sweat, but nothing like they may have in their younger years. Also, trying to keep the body cool puts more strain on the heart and other parts of the body.
There are things seniors and their family support systems can do to minimize the risk of hyperthermia. Recently, much of the country was mired in a significant heatwave that produced dangerous temperatures from the Midwest all the way along the East Coast.
Millions of people were affected, including elderly men and women. Below are a few tips that can help reduce the risk of an aging senior developing hyperthermia the next time temperatures go beyond comfortable and right into oppressive.
If you or somebody you know suspects another person might be getting overheated, get them indoors, into a cooler environment, and pay close attention to the symptoms they exhibit. If you have any questions whatsoever or feel they may have gotten overheated, it may be best to contact a local hospital or doctor for further instruction.
1. Drink plenty of fluids.
Alcoholic beverages are something to completely avoid on those hottest of days. Alcohol saps the body of necessary moisture, so even as a person drinks more, they are actually becoming dehydrated.
Water is best, so encourage the aging senior to drink a little bit more water each day than they might be used to. If they wait until they’re thirsty, they could be setting their body up for hyperthermia.
2. Stay indoors with air conditioning.
It’s best to avoid the hottest of days and instead hunker in the air conditioning security of home. There are plenty of other days in the year to go out and visit a park, run errands, do shopping, and so forth, so it’s not necessary to be out on extremely hot days.
3. Check on these seniors more often.
Family and friends should make it a habit of calling or stopping by to visit with elderly people they care about. Check to make sure they’re fine. Make sure their windows are sealed up when you have the air conditioning running. Be sure they’re comfortable, not getting overheated, and especially not overexerting themselves.
These hot days will pass, but before they do you’ll want to make sure the safety of any senior in your life is placed as a top priority.