Heat & The Elderly
Elderly people (that is, people aged 65 years and older) are more prone to heat stress than younger
people for several reasons:
- Elderly people do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.
- They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat.
- They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.
If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, you can help them protect themselves from heat-related stress:
- Visit older adults at risk at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Encourage them to increase their fluid intake by drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages regardless of their activity level.
Warning: If their doctor generally limits the amount of fluid they drink or they are on water pills, they will need to ask their doctor how much they should drink while the weather is hot.
- Take them to air-conditioned locations if they have transportation problems
This article was taken from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information on the heat and the elderly, go to http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/elderlyheat.asp