Heat exhaustion can sneak up on you, causing increased body temperature, rapid pulse, headache and fatigue. If you don’t get cool, you’ll dehydrate, possibly suffer a stroke or die.
Of 8,000-plus heat-related fatalities reported annually in the United States, 36 percent are among those aged 65 and older, according to a Centers for Disease Control Heat-Related Illness Survey. Hospitalizations for heat-related symptoms increase for those over 85.
Those with elderly friends, relatives or neighbors should take five minutes to check in on them, particularly in very hot weather. Studies show there are far too few professional caregivers for aging adults, a trend expected to continue for the next 10 years or more, so non-professionals play a vital role in keeping seniors safe.
Giving just a few minutes of your time to ensure a senior’s well-being can be highly rewarding. You might even save a life.
Frank Van Hoeve
Director, Griswold Home Care of South Lexington-Richmond