Certain medications have negative side effects when combined with excessive heat or sun exposure. Be sure to do your research and read warning labels carefully whenever your loved one starts taking a new medication or the dosage changes. The best plan is always to talk to your loved one’s doctor or pharmacist about the risk factors of the specific medications she is taking.
Here are some general tips about common medications to keep in mind:
- Selected brands of anti-psychotics, tranquilizers, antidepressants, and over-the-counter sleeping pills can inhibit the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or inhibit perspiration.
- Some topical medications and orally ingested drugs may increase sun sensitivity. Examples include medications used to treat arthritis, diabetes, eczema, and psoriasis.
- Other medications, especially those used to treat depression, hypertension, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease, may increase heat sensitivity.
Follow me on social media (LinkedIn and Google+) for more tips and information to help you keep your elderly loved ones safe this summer.
Exceedingly high temperatures and humidity can lead to a condition called hyperthermia. When
your body temperature rises above its normal 98.6° for more than a few hours, you may be experiencing hyperthermia. The most extreme form of this condition is called heat stroke (body temperature above 105°). Heat exhaustion is a less severe form of hyperthermia. If you or a loved one experiences any of the following symptoms, get to a cooler place as soon as possible.
Symptoms of heat stroke:
Symptoms of heat exhaustion:
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle spasms
- Heat rash
Make sure to seek emergency medical attention if symptoms persist.
PBE’s Safe Anywhere service is a quick and easy way to contact emergency services should your loved ones experience signs of hyperthermia. Contact PBE today for more information.
Did you know that even a small increase in body temperature could have a big effect on the
health of seniors dealing with chronic medical conditions? Heart patients, stroke victims, and overweight seniors, should take special precautions in the heat.
These tips will help you keep your cool in the late summer heat:
- Staying active is still recommended, but be safe. If you want to venture outside for a walk, make sure to take a friend and head out early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has started going down.
- If you don’t have air conditioning at home, seek out cool public spaces during the hottest times of the day (between 11am and 3pm). Shopping malls, movie theaters, coffee shops, and public libraries are all good options.
- Check with your local community center. Some communities set up special cooling centers during heat waves.
- In the DC area, contact the DC Office on Aging to find out about programs available to assist seniors with fewer resources to get air conditioning and other safety services installed in their homes.
What is your favorite way to stay cool during the summer? Let me know in the comments below or reach out on LinkedIn.
This months tips will focus on safety to keep seniors from overheating in the late summer sun.
As we age, our bodies become less able to conserve water and slower to respond to changes in temperature putting older adults at higher risk for dehydration. Also, chronic diseases and some types of medication make it harder for our bodies to absorb water. All of this means it is important for older adults and their caretakers to be mindful about staying hydrated, especially during the hottest months of the year.
To avoid dehydration, follow these tips:
- Keep a water bottle or glass of water close at hand all day long.
- Offer foods that are high in water content, like fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce intake of coffee, alcohol, and high protein drinks, which have diuretic effects on the body and can cause dehydration.
- Encourage elderly loved ones to drink small amounts of fluid throughout the day, rather than drinking large amounts all at once.
For more tips on protecting seniors from heat-related risks, stay tuned. And be sure to follow me on LinkedIn and Google+ for more news about keeping your loved ones safe.