What to Do when a Heat Wave Strikes

Hot weather is often a major issue for people. Everyone is bothered greatly once the temperature soars.  A heat wave can be worse. It does not only cause discomfort but also leads to a large number of sicknesses and deaths due to heat strokes. The elderly are the most susceptible to heat strokes for a number of reasons.

The first reason is elderly people do not adjust to rising temperatures like younger ones do. Second, heart complications make it hard for the body to properly circulate blood and disperse heat. Third, the elderly are more likely to take prescription pills. Pills may bring about water loss, prevent perspiration and amplify the dehydrating effects of extreme temperatures. Lastly, senior citizens have functional limitations and mobility impairments. This reduces the ability to respond effectively when it is hot.

There are practical ways to deal with heat-related illnesses. For example, stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water and natural fruit juices. Sponge off with a cool towel and stay in a place where you are more comfortable and the temperature is lower.  Elderly people with diabetes and/or dementia are not aware of the feeling of thirst or too much heat.

It is possible to maintain coolness in your home by making sure your air conditioner filters well. Check if your filtration systems are maintained properly for cooling capacity and efficiency. Prevent the sun from filtering through your house by using window blinds or shades. Use portable electric fans for those rooms that are used frequently. When a heat wave strikes, see to it that you are in the coolest area.

Avoid excessive movements and activities when it is hot. Do not hesitate to use your air conditioning unit or stay in air-conditioned public places like the mall, library or movie theater if you are not at home. You can also rub a wet wash cloth over your face, body, wrists, and neck. Ice or cooler packs will also come in handy.

It’s important to note that a heat stroke starts with flu-like symptoms which include loss of appetite, vomiting, light-headedness and muscle cramps. These symptoms can develop quickly or slowly within a few days. Pay close attention to you and your loved ones’ health.

Whatever you do, Specialty Care Services can provide economical home care services, like certified nursing assistants and geriatric nursing assistants, which can lessen the burden of care giving and corresponding costs. The objective is to support the needs of both patients and family providing home care services for home nursing, retirement communities, hospitals and long-term care facilities.