Home care in Chattanooga, TN

  • 6016B Shallowford Road
  • Suite 1300
  • Chattanooga, TN 37421

Heat Stress in the Elderly

June 24th, 2016

In Chattanooga today, it feels like it is 112 degrees outside but my weather app says it is only 92. For some reason, it feels so much hotter.
Tomorrow, the high is supposed to reach 98 degrees.
It’s that time of year when all of us need to be mindful of the effects of the summer sun and warmer temperatures, especially for our more vulnerable clients.
Elderly people (that is, people aged 65 years and older) are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons:

  • Elderly people do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.
  • They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat.
  • They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.

Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body's temperature rises rapidly, the body loses its ability to sweat, and it is unable to cool down. Body temperatures rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Warning signs vary but may include the following:

  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.

If you or a loved one could benefit from in-home care, please call BrightStar Care of Chattanooga at 423.296.6640 for a complimentary nursing assessment by a Registered Nurse. BrightStar Care Chattanooga is the only in-home provider in the area that is accredited by the Joint Commission.

Topics: Stroke Safety