Understanding the Heat Index and Its Role on Health

As many states deal with brutal heat, there’s another factor that often gets overlooked. Days and days of temperatures in the 90s are bad. When the heat index tops 100 or even 110 degrees, it’s dangerous. You need to understand what a heat index is and how it impacts your health.


Home Health Care in Bala Cynwyd PA: Heat Index and Its Role on Health

Home Health Care in Bala Cynwyd PA: Heat Index and Its Role on Health


Senior citizens are at risk in the heat. As you age, the circulatory system works more slowly. Seniors don’t sweat as much. They often feel cold, even when it’s warm for you. The body’s response to being thirsty isn’t as prominent. As a result, seniors have a higher tendency to overheat or become dehydrated. When the heat index is high, you need to protect your parents.


What is the Heat Index?

Look back at the typical winter day. It’s cold out and a wind and any moisture in the air makes it feel colder than the thermometer is reading. The same can happen in the summer.

It’s definitely warm and the thermometer shows it. Humidity impacts how hot you really feel. If it’s 90 degrees outside and the relative humidity is at 60 percent, it’s going to feel like it’s 100 degrees. There’s also the sun to add to how hot you feel. If there’s a thin layer of clouds, the heat index will be lower than it would be in full sun.


How Can Heat Impact Health?

While heat can lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration, there is also the impact it has on health conditions. When it’s hotter, the sun impacts pollutants that come from things like power plants and vehicles. This pollution stays closer to the ground in heat. If your parent has a lung condition, the air quality can make it harder to breathe.


Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion and Dehydration

Make sure that you know what the signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration are. If your parent is falling, has a rapid pulse, seems confused or disoriented, or has dry eyes or a dry mouth, it can be dehydration.

Heat exhaustion or heat stroke presents with a fever over 103 degrees, nausea, and a rapid pulse. Dizziness, dry skin, and a headache are other signs.

You need to check on your elderly parents regularly when it’s hot. If you live too far away, make sure a sibling checks on your mom and dad. A neighbor or close family friend can also check in and make sure they’re okay.


If you do not have anyone who can pop in and check on your parents during a heatwave, call a home care agency. You can arrange to have caregivers visit each day. Caregivers can also help with meals, housekeeping, and transportation. You pick the best schedule for home care services and can increase or reduce services as needed. Call now.


Call today: (484) 206-4544


Ibrahim & Mariama Suma-Keita