It’s warming up in Chicagoland. It’s great to be able to enjoy the Summer heat but it can bring risks to our health, especially for seniors. Prolonged exposure to heat can cause dizziness or fainting known as hyperthermia. Whether it’s heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat edema (the swelling of your feet and ankles), treatment usually requires getting out of the sun, drinking water and cooling off inside. A more serious condition that requires immediate medical attention is heat stroke.
The signs of heat stroke include:
- Fainting or unconsciousness
- A change in behavior—confusion, agitation, staggering or acting strangely
- Body temperature over 104°F
- A strong, rapid pulse or a slow, weak pulse
- Not sweating even if it is hot
So how can you prepare and keep yourself and your loved-ones safe this Summer while enjoying the outdoors? Here’s a few tips to help lower your risk for heat-related illness:
- Hydrate: Drink plenty of liquids such as water or fruit/vegetable juices. Stay away from alcohol or caffeine.
- Keep your home cool: Even if you don’t have air conditioning, there’s a few ways to keep your home cooler. Limit the use of your oven. Keep your shads/blinds closed during hottest part of day. Open your windows at night.
- Daytime Activities: Get out of your home in the afternoons. Go to a senior center, shopping mall, movie theater, library or friends house to cool off. It’s also a great way to have fun and socialize.
- Dress for the weather: Wear light colored clothes and find natural fabrics, such as cotton instead of synthetic fibers.
- Avoid outside exercise: If you want or need to exercise, do it during the cooler parts of the day or inside if possible.
- Avoid crowds: Plan trips during non-rush hour times and avoid crowded places when it’s hot outside.
If you have questions about how to stay cool this Summer and avoid heat-related illnesses, you should always consult your doctor.
Clarendale of Algonquin
Discover a New World of Senior Living
2001 W. Algonquin Rd, Algonquin, IL 60102