According to the National Institute of Health, seniors have a higher risk than other age groups of developing heat stroke or heat-related illnesses. Seniors often have poor circulation and other conditions that make it more difficult for the body to regulate temperature. Most seniors are dehydrated too, which can increase the impact of heat on the body. And with summers getting hotter every year around the country, heat stroke and heat-related illnesses are something that seniors should be very concerned about. With home care assistance, seniors will have the help they need to avoid heat stroke. But your senior parent and their care provider should know these signs of heat stroke in seniors:
Dizziness or Confusion
Seniors can experience dizziness and confusion caused by many things, including medications. But if a senior is acting normally and doesn’t have any dizziness or confusion and they suddenly are dizzy or they are confused about where they may having a heat related illness. Seniors who have heat stroke or heat exhaustion may also slur their words or seem unable to put a coherent sentence together. Any rapid changes in mood or mental state should be cause for alarm.
Not Sweating or Profusely Sweating
If your senior parent is sweating a little on a hot day that’s normal. But if they are not sweating at all and their skin is dry even though the temperatures are extremely hot that’s not normal. It’s also not normal if they are sweating buckets and can’t seem to cool down even if they are in the shade or have an ice pack. Extreme sweating or not sweating at all both could indicate that seniors are experiencing a heat related emergency.
Extremely Warm Or Red Skin
Seniors will also sometimes get flushed skin that is extremely warm to the touch during a heat stroke. Typically, it’s a senior’s face that becomes extremely red and flushed and may even swell. But it can also be their arms or legs that get very red and swell. It might seem like they just have a sunburn but anytime seniors have very red skin that’s also very warm they should get an emergency exam to make sure they’re not suffering from heat stroke or another heat related illness.
Fast Weak Pulse
Seniors who are experiencing a heat stroke or heat exhaustion often have a thready and weak pulse that is very fast. If your senior parent has home care assistance the home care assistance provider should check your senior parent’s heart rate carefully during any kind of summer activity to make sure that your senior parent isn’t experiencing a heart attack or other serious medical event. Even if they are just suffering from a heat related illness they need to be seen by a doctor who can start bringing their temperature down. If your senior is overly warm apply ice packs, make sure they get into the shade, and bring them into a place with strong air conditioning to wait for emergency medical help.