NIH tips for older adults to combat heat-related illnesses
Risk of heat-related problems increases with age
- Pre-existing diseases such as congestive heart failure, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Decreased ability to move around
- Dementia or cognitive impairment
- Certain medications that may cause dehydration or that may affect the responses to heat by the heart, blood vessels or sweat glands.
- Being substantially overweight
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
- Being dehydrated
- Age-related changes in the skin, such as decreased functioning of small blood vessels and sweat glands
- Move them into an air conditioned or other cool place
- Urge them to lie down and rest
- Remove or loosen tight-fitting or heavy clothing
- Encourage them to drink water or juices if they are able to drink without choking, but avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Apply cold water, ice packs or cold wet cloths to the skin.
- Get medical assistance as soon as possible.