Heat stroke is a serious concern for senior adults whose bodies may not be able to cool off quickly enough in response to high temperatures. Often, the symptoms of heat stroke are subtle enough to be overlooked until an emergency situation has occurred. Home Care Assistance of Cincinnati presents how to identify a possible heat stroke along with first aid and preventative strategies that will ensure a senior adult’s health and safety throughout the summer months.
Heat Stroke Symptoms
The symptoms of a heat stroke can mimic those of other health conditions, yet it is important to act quickly when a senior adult exhibits any new or increasing symptoms that may be related to the heat. Heat stroke symptoms include:
- Severe and throbbing headache
- Lack of sweating in hot temperatures
- Rapid heartbeat
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Muscle cramps or weakness
- Seizures and unconsciousness
First Aid for Heat Stroke
A heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires prompt attention. If heat stroke is suspected, call 911 or take the senior adult to the nearest hospital. While waiting for help to arrive, caregivers should transport the senior into a cool, air-conditioned or shaded location. Cooling strategies can also be implemented such as removing bulky or unnecessary clothing, fanning the senior adult or applying cold packs or wet washcloths to his or her skin.
Preventing Senior Heat Stroke
Prevention is the best strategy for avoiding the devastating effects of a heat stroke for seniors. Those who live in warm climates may need to have their air conditioning units and fans serviced before the hottest part of the summer arrives, and senior adults should be encouraged to avoid physical exertion outdoors during the hottest parts of the day. Family members should also make sure to check in on their loved ones regularly to make sure that they are staying cool in their home. If this is not possible, consider hiring a professional hourly caregiver in Cincinnati who can make sure the senior is safe and comfortable, assisting with activities of daily living that may be difficult for the senior to complete in the heat.
By being proactive and making sure that a senior has regular well checks by a trusted caregiver, families can rest assured that their loved one will be safe from heat stroke. For more information about in-home senior care in Cincinnati, contact a Home Care Assistance Care Manager at 513-891-2273.