Elder Care in West Hempstead NY
Warmer weather means enjoying more outdoor activities but it can also mean facing the reality of heat stress. Your elderly loved one is particularly vulnerable to heat stress, so there are some things that you need to know in order to be prepared.
What Is Heat Stress?
Heat stress is another term for heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. These are ailments that your loved one might experience a lot faster than you or anyone else in the group might, so it’s important to be alert for symptoms. Prevention of heat stress is optimal, but the next best thing is to react quickly if you do spot signs of heat stress.
Pay Attention to Keeping Your Loved One Cool
If you can keep your elderly loved one cool from the start, then you have a better chance of avoiding any type of heat stress at all. Dress your loved one in event appropriate clothing, with an eye toward the weather. Keep in mind that darker colors are more likely to attract heat, so lighter colors are a better idea. Also, man-made fabrics like polyester and nylon don’t breathe as well as cotton does, so check those fiber contents on the clothing labels. Keep plenty of water on hand and stay alert.
Know the Signs of Heat Stress
Heat exhaustion is the milder form of heat stress that your loved one could experience. She’s likely to start sweating first, but then may become dizzy and confused. She may start to get a headache or muscle cramps and she may faint. Heat stroke, on the other hand, is far more serious. Signs of heat stroke include:
- Heated skin, but no sweat
- Body aches
- Slurred speech
What to Do if You Suspect Heat Stress
If you suspect heat exhaustion, the first thing to do is to get your loved one to a cooler location so that you can assess what is going on a little better. Have her sip some water and relax as much as possible. If she worsens at all, call 911. Heat stroke is far more severe. You should also move your loved one to a cooler location if you suspect heat stroke, but do so while calling 911 for additional help.
Talk to your loved one’s doctor and elder care providers for additional tips for preparing for the eventuality of heat stress.