Seniors need to watch for warning signs of heat stress

Heat takes its toll on everyone, but it's especially hard on seniors. As we get older, our bodies don't adjust to sudden changes in temperature as well.

Dr. Catherine Edwards at Virginia Mason Medical Center says you need to be on guard for the warning signs of heat stress.

"We're looking for symptoms that include thirst, light-headedness or dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headache or sometimes muscle cramps," she says. "If you notice these signs of early heat stress it's important to begin to cool off."

Dr. Edwards says when the temperature soars be sure to drink lots of water to stay well-hydrated. Drink even if you don't feel thirsty.

"We should also avoid strenuous activities especially at the hottest times of the day," she says. "And we should make sure everybody has access to an air conditioned area or at least a good fan."

Dr. Edwards reminds us that it's important to check on family and friends to make sure they're OK.

If it's gets too hot inside the house and they don't have an air conditioner, you should take them someplace cool, like a shopping mall.

More Information:

CDC: Heat Stress in the Elderly

MedlinePlus: Heat Stress