Helping seniors keep their cool - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Helping seniors keep their cool

July 11, 2007

Albany - - We've battled more than severe weather this week. The South Georgia summer heat and humidity are reaching levels that can be dangerous for the elderly. 

Experts say people 65 and older are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that affects their normal body responses to heat. Prescription medicines can also impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature.

Health care workers say one of the most important things a senior citizen can do during hot weather is drink plenty of liquids.

"Lemonade, plenty of ice, cool water, things of that nature. Because you have the tendency especially with the elderly to dehydrate quicker, sometimes that is one of the things that they're in the hospital for. They just have the tendency to get there a lot quicker than we would someone healthy," says Lee Hamblen, LPN.

Health workers say if you care for an elderly person, be sure to visit them at least twice a day and watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Those signs include extremely high body temperature, also red, hot, or dry skin with no sweating, and a rapid, strong pulse.

Also if their home has air conditioning, check to make sure there is proper insulation.  

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