Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Heat Stroke Can Occur Indoors

Staying inside is no guarantee of avoiding heat-related dangers. That's especially true if the house is overheated. Many seniors try to cut electric bills by not using air conditioning, but that's not a good idea. Trapped hot air can cause the body to overheat, just like working or exercising outdoors.

At the very least, install a few battery-operated fans in separate rooms and utilize the one in the room that's occupied at any one time. Consider closing drapes and blinds to keep out the sun and rooms cool. Also see if local Department of Aging has options for energy payment or assistance programs for older adults on tight budgets.

Anyone who has older loved ones who mostly stay indoors should check in on them frequently during the summer, even if it's just a phone call. That's especially true for caregivers who knows their loved one tends to keep their air conditioning off.

Defining Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
Heat exhaustion is the stage in which the body puts out symptoms that it's getting overheated. Unfortunately, many of these signals are rather mild, and therefore most people find them easy to ignore. Among heat exhaustion's symptoms:

Dry mouth and thirst
Feeling nauseous, sometimes even vomiting
Muscle cramps
Fatigue, perhaps feeling dizzy

Heat stroke is more serious. Among the symptoms of heat stroke:

Deep breathing and fast pulse
Hot, red, skin, but no sweating
Confusion, perhaps even hallucinations

Read more at Suite101: Senior Safety – Avoiding Heat Stroke: Advice Specific to Seniors During Hot Weather

-- by Steve Hargrove, Director of Events and Marketing

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