5 Signs of Heat Stroke to Watch for in Aging Adults

By Anneliese Rosar, 9:00 am on

During summertime, seniors have a particularly high risk of experiencing heat exhaustion because their bodies are not as efficient at maintaining an even temperature. If seniors get too overheated, they can experience a heat stroke that may have serious consequences if left untreated.

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Allen in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

Learn more about these five common signs of heat stroke in seniors so you can work to prevent them. 

1. Extreme Headache and Dizziness

Heat stroke is associated with excessive dehydration, so it tends to cause a strong headache and feelings of confusion or dizziness. At this early stage of heat stroke, it is important to get your loved one to a cool, shaded place and help him or her rehydrate with cool water or a sugar-free sports drink. To prevent dizziness, make sure your loved one remains hydrated and takes a break from the sun during the hottest part of the day.

2. Flushed and Dry Skin

Many seniors think they are not too hot if they are not sweating. However, heat stroke often dehydrates the body so severely that a senior may no longer sweat. Skin will be hot to the touch and noticeably dry. As temperature rises, skin may start to look reddened and flushed. Provide plenty of water and cool compresses as soon as your loved one starts showing signs of heat exhaustion. 

3. Rapid Heart and Breathing Rates

As the body tries to cool itself, a senior may experience rapid, shallow breathing and a significantly increased pulse. This is a sign the heat is getting bad enough to damage the body. Seniors with weak circulatory systems are particularly prone to this symptom. If your loved one has a heart condition, seek immediate medical attention.

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Allen, Texas, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.

4. Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are some of the most severe signs of heat exhaustion. Encourage your loved one to go to a cool, shady area, remove extra clothing, and cool down with water or ice. Get medical attention to ensure the heat stroke does not cause further damage.

5. Seizures and Unconsciousness

If this symptom occurs, call 911 immediately and get your loved one to a cool or wet place as quickly as possible. Because fainting and seizures are signs of severe heat stroke, it is important to prevent them whenever possible. Try to pay attention to your loved one and get him or her help before this sign of a heat stroke occurs.

Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Allen families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. For more information on our premier senior care services, call Home Care Assistance at (972) 548-0392 today.

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