Dealing With the Heat: Tips for the Elderly
Schmalfeldt: It's something folks are saying all over the country! SONG: (Ella Fitzgerald singing.)It's too, too, too darn hot! It's too darn hot! (Music establishes under and fades)
And there's much more summer to come! That means much more suffering for older people who have more trouble dealing with the heat than their younger counterparts. Fortunately, the summer can remain safe and enjoyable for everyone who uses good, sound judgment and learns about preventive measures like those described in the National Institute on Aging's "hyperthermia" web topic. That's the general name given to a variety of heat-related illnesses. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, muscle spasms, and fatigue after exposure to heat. There are things you should do if you suspect someone is suffering from a heat-related illness: Get the victim out of the sun and into a cool place — preferably one that is air-conditioned. Offer fluids but avoid alcohol and caffeine. Encourage the victim to shower or bathe, or sponge off with cool water, then lie down and rest in a cool place. Heat stroke is especially dangerous for older people and requires emergency medical attention. A person with heat stroke has a body temperature above 104° and may have symptoms such as confusion, combativeness, bizarre behavior, faintness, staggering, strong rapid pulse, dry flushed skin, lack of sweating, possible delirium or coma. For more info, log onto nia.nih.gov, and search the keyword "heat." And while it's true there are plenty of hot days ahead this summer, try to keep it in perspective. In six months, we'll all have something else to complain about. SONG: (Dinah Shore and Bing Crosby singing.)Ah, but it's cold outside! (Music establishes under and fades)
From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Bill Schmalfeldt in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Bill Schmalfeldt
Sound Bite: Heat, Aging