June 3, 2022
Beat the Heat for Older Adults
Seniors are often at higher risk for heat-related illnesses like sunstroke due to how their bodies regulate temperature less efficiently than younger adults. If you are over the age of 65, follow these six effective ways to “beat the heat for seniors” to stay safe and feel more comfortable in the sweltering Texas summer heat.
1. Drink Lots of Water
Water helps your body stay hydrated and reduces your risk of sunstroke. Drink water instead of coffees, fruit juices, energy drinks, and alcoholic beverages—as these can all contribute to dehydration. Also, try to snack on lots of fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in water content, such as watermelon, celery, and strawberries.
2. Spend Time in Air-Conditioned Places
Air conditioning can help you stay cool and comfortable on extremely hot days, especially if you live in one of the more humid parts of Texas. Have your air conditioner serviced regularly, and head to places like indoor malls, senior community centers, and restaurants if at any point you need access to an air conditioner.
3. Wear the Right Fabrics
Wear clothing made with light, cool fabrics that can prevent you from feeling overheated and uncomfortable. Opt for cotton, linen, or chambray, and stay away from polyester, flannel, and nylon.
4. Hunker Down During Peak Hours
Schedule all your activities and errands early in the morning or later at night when temperatures are coolest. The sun’s rays are usually most intense between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. However, in some parts of Texas, the hottest hours are after 4 p.m.
5. Track the Weather
Track the daily weather by listening to the radio, watching the local news, or downloading a weather app on your mobile device. Though the weather forecast isn’t always 100% accurate, it can give you a better idea of when you should stay indoors to avoid severe conditions.
6. Know the Side Effects of Medications
Certain medications can make you more sensitive to the heat, including blood pressure medications, antihistamines, stimulants, and antidepressants. Medications used to treat an overactive bladder can also cause increased heat sensitivity.
Familiarize yourself with the side effects of all your medications and watch out for signs of heat intolerance such as dizziness, nausea, and cramps. Ask your doctor for more information about medication side effects that can cause problems in hot temperatures and about the possibility of changing your medications if you are regularly exposed to the heat.
At Healthcare Associates of Texas, we completely understand how hot summer weather and humidity can affect your health. Contact us for all your healthcare needs, especially if you are an older adult who needs help beating the hot Texas heat.
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