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3 things to know about seniors and heat dangers

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Excessive exposure to heat is particularly dangerous for older adults.

It is important to recognize the signs of overheating and learn how you can lower your risk of heat-related health issues. Here are 3 things to know about the dangers of heat.

1. Overheating is more common in seniors

Your brain signals to your body when it begins to overheat and prompts your body to release hormones that cause you to sweat. As you age, your body becomes less efficient at cooling down.

Certain medications such as heart and blood pressure drugs increase your risk of overheating. Being overweight or underweight or being on a salt-restricted diet for high blood pressure can also put you at a higher risk of overheating.

2. Be aware of common symptoms of overheating

In addition to feeling weak and fatigued, you may also experience confusion and feel agitated. A dull or throbbing headache is also a common sigh of heat exhaustion.

Feeling nauseous is a big sign that your body is too hot. If your nausea is accompanied by vomit, you may also be in the early stages of heat stroke. If you are out in the heat and begin to feel dizzy, you are beginning to overheat.

3. You can reduce your risk of overheating

Lower your risk of heat-related illness by staying hydrated. Keep your home as cool as possible with fans or air conditioning. Keep your blinds or curtains closed during the hottest part of the day and open your windows at night to allow the heat to escape.

Dress for the weather and wear natural fabrics like cotton. Consider exercising indoors or take your daily walk early in the morning or later in the day to avoid peak temperatures.

If you begin to experience any of these warning signs, seek a cool place to rest with your legs elevated and drink plenty of water until your symptoms go away. Avoid fluids with alcohol or caffeine. If you don’t feel better soon, get medical care.

Heritage Woods of Minooka, an Assisted Lifestyle Community for the Older Adult, 701 Heritage Woods Drive, Minooka, IL, 60447, 815-467-2837, www.gardant.com/heritagewoodsminooka