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Heat related illnesses affect the elderly

As we age it is harder for our bodies to respond to a hot summer. This means that the elderly are at greater risk for heat related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat fatigue, heat cramps and heat exhaustion.

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has released a report which lists factors that can increase the risk of heat related illnesses.

Factors that increase heat illnesses

  • Age related changes to the skin such as poor blood circulation and sweat glands.
  • Heart, lung and kidney diseases, as well as any illness that causes general weakness.
  • High blood pressure or other conditions that require changes in diet. For example, people on low salt diets may be at increased risk for heat related illnesses.
  • Sweating can be impaired by medications. These include: diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers and heart and blood pressure drugs.
  • Taking medication. It’s important to continue taking prescribed medications and discuss heat illnesses with a doctor.
  • Being greatly overweight or underweight.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • not drinking enough water and being dehydrated.

The elderly should stay indoors on very hot and humid days, according to U.S. National Institute on Aging. Those without fans or air conditioners should go to air-conditioned places such as shopping malls, movie theaters, libraries or cooling centers operated by social service agencies and senior citizen centers.

For more information visit The National Institute of Aging website.

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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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