With this unseasonably hot weather upon us in Western New York, the heat is more than a cause for discomfort – it can be a health risk. Older adults are more susceptible to heat related illnesses including heat stroke and sun poisoning. Because their cardiovascular system cannot with stand heat related stress or illness they are at greater risk and more susceptible to the heat. During periods of extreme heat and humidity, family members and friends living near older adults should check in on them periodically. There are several precautions that should be taken to help older New Yorkers avoid being over come by the heat, including:
Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages.
Stay indoors, especially in well ventilated or air-conditioned rooms.
Close blinds or curtains to keep direct sunlight from entering windows.
Stay in the shade and wearing a hat when outdoors.
Wear loose fitting, lightweight and light colored clothing and choosing fabrics such as cotton or silk, which allow the body to release heat.
Take cool showers or baths.
Eat light meals of salads and fruit that help replenish fluids to the body.
Heat affects us all differently, but our older citizens are at greatest risk and are encouraged to protect themselves from the consequences heat can have on their health.