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  • Writer's pictureRobin Masters

Seniors & The Summer Heat

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Even the most active seniors need to be cautious in the heat of summer. Two out of three heat-related incidences happen to adults over 60. The simple fact is this: older bodies respond more slowly to temperature changes, especially rapid ones. As well, older adults are more likely to have existing medical conditions or may take medications that contribute to weakness during the heat.

During those dog days of summer we may need to adjust our lifestyles with better thought out choices and evaluate how they may contribute to heat-related illness. Plan your daily schedule with brief outdoor activities. Trips to an air-conditioned mall or grocery store can help keep the scorching conditions at bay for the short-term. Stay out of the direct mid-day sun and protect your head and eyes with a good hat and your sunnies. Keep the water at the ready.

If you are feeling a reaction in any way with a high body temperature, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea or confusion it is imperative to seek help immediately! Remember your own body temperature is 37 degrees celsius so when outside conditions exceed that, well you get the picture. It simply takes a few more degrees for the body to fall victim to serious illness if untreated.

If you suspect you have an urgent change in reaction to the air temperature or air quality, call 911 for emergency medical assistance. An older adults body temperature can reach 106 degrees in just 15 minutes during a heat stroke event. This is a medical emergency. The outcome if untreated could be deadly.

Summer can be enjoyed with safety and precautions in place, mindfull activities, plenty of cool water, breathable clothing and a good breeze. Plan your errands and activities for the earlier or later ends of the day and it never hurts to be in good company during these heat spells to be on the safe side. Enjoy the good life with a nice shady spot and a refreshing cool quencher to beat the sweltering summer. Of course a dog next to you on the cool grass can only complete the day. That's why they call them dog day afternoons, you know. Cheers!

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