Heat Can Be An Issue For Elderly (2018-06-19 15:24:27)

While temperatures on the mountain are not as hot as off, heat is still an issue for the elderly in the High Country.

As people get older, their natural defenses begin to break down, leaving people age 65 and older more likely to develop health problems related to heat exposure. Seniors also are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat and are more likely to take prescription medications that affect the body’s ability to control its temperature or sweat.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the CDC have a number of recommendations to help prevent heat-related illnesses in the elderly:

-Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible—don’t rely on fans as the only cooling source during times of extreme heat.
-Stay well hydrated by drinking water or sports drinks.  
-Avoid drinks with caffeine and alcohol.
-Limit using the stove or oven to cook during times of extreme heat.
-Wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
-Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
-Limit strenuous outdoor activities and get plenty of rest.

It's also important to keep in touch with older family members and neighbors to be sure they are ok.