Dealing with extreme heat

Submitted on Wednesday July 24th, 2013
kate b reynolds hospice home

Make sure your loved one is ready to “take the heat” this summer. Older bodies are less able to cope with excessive heat, so it’s important to ensure safeguards are in place.

Check in with your relative’s doctor. Certain chronic conditions and medications increase an older adult’s risk of heat stroke. Get advice on optimal fluid intake and medication management for times of extreme heat.

Provide air conditioning. Ideally, your relative has access to air conditioning at home, in at least one room. Make sure that it works! Otherwise, identify a place nearby that’s air conditioned where he or she can get relief for an hour or two. Perhaps make arrangements to visit a library, movie theater, or shopping mall.

Arrange for contact. Especially if your loved one lives alone, it’s important that someone check in several times a day during a heat wave. This provides an opportunity to catch symptoms of overheating early on. Our article on safety tips for summer provides more details on the signs of heat stroke and steps your relative can take when its hot.

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