Why Seniors Get More Affected by Heat

The Experts at Our Independent Living Facility in West Hartford Explain

Two Senior Women Walking & Talking OutdoorsWhile the heat can be dangerous for people of all ages, seniors are more susceptible and prone to illness caused by overexposure to heat. Not only does dehydration increase as you age, but the brain also takes longer to sense and respond to temperature changes, thus adding to the risk. At our independent living facility in West Hartford, we are especially vigilant during the hot summer months and encourage our residents to stay hydrated, reduce their activities during hot spells and remain in cool surroundings. It is important to educate them about the impact that heat can have on their bodies, so that they can take better care of their health.

How Does Heat Affect Seniors?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people over the age of 65 are more prone to heat stress. Here are some reasons why:

  • Older adults do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature. An aging brain is partly responsible for this. In a younger individual, the brain responds to heat by quickly triggering sweat glands and dilating blood vessels to help cool it down. In the case of the elderly, however, a slowing brain takes a longer time to respond which can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Seniors are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that alters normal body responses to heat. Older adults with breathing difficulties, heart conditions, hypertension, kidney problems and mental ailments like Parkinson’s and dementia are at a higher risk for heat stress. Talk to your healthcare provider about special precautions you can take to avoid health problems due to heat.
  • The elderly are more likely to require daily prescription medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or inhibit perspiration. If you or a family member is taking medication for any of the above mentioned ailments or another health condition, check with the doctor if it increases your risk for heat-related illnesses. Heat illnesses include stroke, exhaustion, fainting, edema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), rash, and muscle cramps.

Heat ailments are mainly caused by overexertion when temperatures are high or due to overexposure to the sun. Seniors who are not used to heat are also more likely to face heat-related health issues.

Senior Man Using Golf to Get in ShapeAt The Holiday Retirement Community in West Hartford, we are committed to keeping our residents healthy and take special precautions to protect their well-being in the hot summer months. Our experienced staff members keep a watchful eye on residents. They are trained to provide the level of care and attention your loved ones need, ensuring their safety at all times. You can rest assured knowing we will care for your family like our own.

Give us a call at 860-233-8208 for more tips on how to stay cool during the summer or to get information on our independent living facility in West Hartford, Connecticut. Fill out our online form to book a tour.

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