July 2020 was the hottest month on record in New Jersey with temperatures soaring above 90 degrees. The heat and humidity will likely continue through October. Extreme heat is not good for anyone and Senior Citizens are especially at risk for heat-related illness. Keep them safe by knowing the signs, prevention, and treatment of heat-related illnesses.
Older Adults and people with health problems are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Illnesses caused by excessive heat are called hyperthermia. There are 5 different types of hyperthermia that range in severity.
- Heat Cramps – painful muscle spasms following strenuous activity in the heat
- Heat Edema – swelling of the feet and ankles during high temperature
- Heat Syncope – fainting or sudden loss of consciousness from standing still in a hot environment
- Heat Exhaustion – thirst, cool clammy skin, heavy sweating, dizziness, and nausea from excessive heat.
- Heat Stroke – a medical emergency and life-threatening condition that includes elevated body temperature, dry skin, delirium, and rapid pulse
People over the age of 50 are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. It’s crucial we do everything we can to protect our vulnerable population during a heat wave.
- Stay Hydrated — Drink plenty of fluids such as water or juice, and avoid alcohol or caffeine
- Cool the House — Staying in an air-conditioned environment is best. If the power is out, keep the windows covered during the day and open at night
- Dress for the Weather — Wear light, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibers such as linen and cotton
- Limit Outdoor Activity — Plan trips during early morning before it gets too hot, and avoid outdoor activities in the afternoon
- Watch the Weather — High temperatures and humidity increase the risk of hyperthermia, so keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan accordingly
During hot weather, make daily visits or calls to older relatives and neighbors. Remind them to drink plenty of fluids. If you notice signs of headache, confusion, dizziness, or nausea, take steps to cool down.
- Immediately get out of the sun
- Lie down and rest
- Drink fluids and rest
- Take a cool bath or shower
- Visit the doctor or emergency room if you don’t cool down quickly
At Anita’s Angels, Inc., we want to keep your loved one safe in any weather. We are Families Helping Families. Learn more about what our family can do for yours by calling 908-788-9390.