Elderly Home Care Blog

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Heatstroke in Seniors: Warning Signs, Treatment, and Prevention

Heatstroke in Seniors is a serious concern. Older adults are particularly susceptible to heatstroke. As the summer heats up, keep an eye on your Senior for warning signs. Heatstroke, also known as sunstroke, can happen when body temperatures reach above 104 degrees F. This is a severe condition that requires immediate medical attention. 

Symptoms of Heatstroke in Seniors

The main sign of heatstroke is a core body temperature of 104 F or higher. Seniors suffering from heatstroke will also exhibit an altered mental state. They may act confused, delirious, agitated, or irritated. Heatstroke can also lead to slurred speech, seizures, and coma. Other symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flushed skin
  • Shallow breathing
  • Rapid pulse
  • Headache

Risk Factors

The two most significant risk factors for heatstroke are age and exertion in hot weather. After the age of 65, body changes make it more challenging to cope with temperature changes. Also, older adults have a harder time staying hydrated and dehydration increases the risk of heatstroke. Certain medications and health conditions can also increase the risk of heatstroke. Senior Citizens should talk to a doctor about their specific drugs and other health concerns. 


If you suspect heatstroke in a Senior Citizen, call 911 right away. Then take immediate action to cool them down. Going into an air conditioned space is best. If you can’t go indoors, get the person to shade. Remove any excess clothing. Place icepacks or wet towels on the head, neck, armpits, and groin. 

Heatstroke Prevention

Of course, prevention is the best medicine. Seniors are at an increased risk for heatstroke and need to take precautions during the hot summer months.  

  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. 
  • Use sunscreen when outdoors.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Never wait in a parked car. 
  • Limit time outside during the hottest parts of the day.

Senior Citizens can safely age-in-place with in-home healthcare. At Anita’s Angels, Inc., we are Families Helping Families. Let our family assist yours. Call 908-788-9390.

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