Maple Knoll Warns of Heat Risks with Older Adults
After the winter that Cincinnati had we all are wanting to enjoy this nice weather! But did you know that summer heat kills more than any other type of weather?
It is also predicted that this summer’s temperatures will be higher than normal for Cincinnati. A federal study found that 40% of heat related deaths were in people aged 65 and older. In fact, the elderly have an increased risk for heat related problems such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. There are many reasons this occurs such as the older body holds far less water than a younger one. The elderly have decreased thirst recognition and ability to sense temperature changes. Medicines can interfere with the ability to sweat which cools and individual off. Medicines also can increase urination which deplete fluids in the body.
Maple Knoll Village, a nonprofit continuing care retirement community in Springdale, knows how important it is to be informed on heat risks. Maple Knoll Risk Management Director Karen Pendleton even touched base with us to share some tips and things to look for this summer. Some common symptoms of dehydration include headache, dizziness, dry mouth, and sunken eyes. Those experiencing heat exhaustion often have muscle cramps, low blood pressure, rapid pulse and nausea. If someone is having a heat stroke they often have a body temperature of 104 or high, they could be having seizures, or loss of consciousness that could potentially lead to death.
To avoid these issues Karen recommends drinking plenty of water and always having water with you, stay in cool areas (such as your home, local mall, senior center, etc.), sit in front of a fan, mist yourself with water, save chores for later in the day as it is cooler, keep house shades and blinds closed, eat lighter meals and check in with family members regularly. If you are caring for an older loved one please check in with them frequently.
If someone is already experiencing these issues then take them to a cool area immediately. Loosen or remove clothing to help cool them and apply cold compresses to their neck, armpits and groin. Provide plenty of fluids and seek medical attention if necessary.
We encourage everyone to stay cool this summer! If you have questions on additional ways to stay safe during the summer months or on Maple Knoll Village please call 513.782.2423.