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Preventing Heat-related Illnesses

Written by: Dunham

What seniors and caregivers need to know to stay safe this summer

Heat stroke, heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses can affect anyone, but did you know that certain people, including seniors, are particularly vulnerable? As the weather warms up, it’s a good time to refresh your knowledge about the signs of heat stroke and other emergencies, what to do if they strike, and prevention tips to keep yourself and others safe and healthy.

Who’s at risk?

In hot, humid weather, certain people are at higher risk of illness caused by excessive heat and/or dehydration: babies and young children, seniors, people with chronic illnesses (such as heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illnesses), people with mental illnesses, people who take certain medications (such as drugs for high blood pressure, insomnia and depression) and people who have limited mobility.

What to watch for

These are the signs and symptoms of heat-related emergencies, according to the Canadian Red Cross:

Cramps or muscle tightening, usually in the legs and abdomen, but also possible in other parts of the body

Types of heat-related illnesses

People often use the term “heat stroke” to describe heat-related illness, but there are different types. Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care describes four conditions and their symptoms:

What to do if you suspect heat-related illness

If you notice signs or symptoms of heat-related illnesses, move to a cooler location right away. Sip cool water and loosen any tight clothing. Apply cool water to your skin and fan yourself. Seek medical help. If you notice someone who appears confused, is unconscious or has stopped sweating, call emergency services (9-1-1).

How to prevent heat-related illnesses

Stay cool and safe this summer with these expert tips:

Together, we can keep seniors safe from the dangerous effects of excessive heat. If you have elderly loved ones whom you can’t visit as often as you would like, consider home care services that protect their health and well-being.

To learn how Bayshore Home Health helps seniors live independently,

Call us: 1-877-289-3997 Email us: clientservice@bayshore.ca

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