Heat a Concern for Seniors

Lynchburg, VA - Thursday saw more hot weather, with high temperatures around 90 combined with high humidity. The heat makes doing even mundane tasks uncomfortable. For seniors, the conditions can also be extremely dangerous. "People aged 65 and older are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature," said Leslie Hoglund with the Lynchburg Health Department. The loss of sensitivity makes preparing seniors for the conditions all the more important. Not just checking the temperature, or staying hydrated, but making sure the entire home is safe. With seniors staying inside more in warmer weather, there's more risk of an accident in the home as well. "There are a lot of things that you can get that's going to make things a little safer and easier for seniors, said Brenda Dixon with Home Instead Senior Care. In addition to checking for trip hazards, like loose rugs, Brenda Dixon at Home Instead Senior Care says a quick check of the refrigerator is in order, as well. "Checking for food expirations some of that can be affected more. Food can spoil faster in the heat. That's a good thing to keep in mind for the summer, as well," Dixon said. Warmer temperatures can also aggravate pre-existing medical conditions in seniors. "Things like asking if they have muscle cramps, or nausea, or even vomiting, light headedness, could be signs and symptoms of dehydration. We want to make sure that our bodies are well suited for these temperatures by staying in cool environments," Hoglund said. Home Instead Senior Care is offering free in-home safety assessments, to make sure that a senior's home is prepared for the warm summer months. To sign up, click here.