According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the dog days of summer are nearing an end as the traditional timing of the Dog Days are defined as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11. The hot temperatures and high humidity hitting the country during this time of year pose serious health risks to seniors that can lead to serious illness or death. While heat related issues can hit adults at any age, seniors are especially susceptible as reduced mobility and prescription medication usage increases the risk of heat exhaustion and stroke.
Heat exhaustion occurs after sun exposure or inadequate replenishing of fluids after spending time outside. Symptoms of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting. If you experience these symptoms, immediately cool off, rest and drink water. If not treated, heat exhaustion may advance to heat stroke.
Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature due to overheating and loses the ability to sweat. Symptoms include a body temperature above 103° F; red, hot, and dry skin; rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness.
Hot weather safety tips include:
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol that increase the risk of dehydration
- Stay out of the sun
- Find a location that has air-conditioning
For more tips on Heat Stress and Elder Care visit the CDC.