St. Andrew's Senior Solutions

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Older Adults and Summer Heat

Summer has officially begun! As the COVID vaccine becomes more widespread, and restrictions ease from state to state, many individuals remain cautious about gatherings. During this uncertain time we find families and businesses alike are putting an emphasis on outdoor activities and celebrations in an effort to remain safe. Being able to gather again is a wonderful thing for everyone, but Senior Solutions would like to take the opportunity to remind you of the potential danger of excessive heat exposure for your older loved ones. Older adults are more susceptible to heat related-illness, as their bodies may lose the ability to sweat and get rid of heat as quickly. They may also have other health conditions or take medications that make them prone to being more severely affected by the heat.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. Heat stroke occurs with the body temperature rises rapidly and the body is unable to cool down. Some warning signs of heat stroke include:

  • Extremely high body temperature
  • Throbbing headache
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dizziness
  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Red, hot, dry skin with no sweating

Heat stroke can lead to death or permanent disability if treatment is not administered quickly. If you come across anyone whom you suspect is suffering from a heat stroke call 911 and blanket the victim with damp sheets.

During the summer months, please make sure you are spending adequate time indoors in a cool, air-conditioned area when the temperatures rise. It may be necessary to limit activity during the hottest hours of the afternoon and always drink plenty of water before, during and after activities. Always be sure to wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn. If you have older loved ones or neighbors who live alone, make sure to check in with them regularly. If you are aware of an older adult who does not have access to adequate cooling in their home please contact our staff for resources. Enjoy your family time this summer, and stay safe and cool out there!

For more information contact our Social Services Director, Heather Spindler at 314-802-5106 or via email at hspindler@standrews1.com.