Elderly and the Heat (Video)

Know the signs of trouble

When summertime heat kicks in, the elderly are more at risk than others. Ronan Factora, MD, a geriatrician at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Geriatric Medicine, says elderly people are simply more susceptible to dehydrating when it gets hot.

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 “What happens with normal aging is that you actually have less water in your body and you’re more at risk for dehydration. The other thing is that elderly individuals don’t sweat as much, so they’re more likely to develop a higher temperature, hyperthermia and heat stroke,” Dr. Factora says.

Dr. Factora says elderly people should watch out for these signs of trouble:

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  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Dark yellow urine

But he says it can sometimes be difficult for an elderly person to recognize if they are dehydrated. Dr. Factora says the best way for an elderly person to prevent a heat-related event is to drink plenty of fluids.

“Make sure that you drink at least six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day on a regular basis or if the temperature is higher or you’re spending a lot of time outdoors or if the air conditioner is not on, make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids,” Dr. Factora says.

You can even eat fruits and vegetables to rehydrate yourself, Dr. Factora says.

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By taking precautions, elderly people can lessen the risk of problems due to heat and enjoy the summer.

Related content:

Stay Healthy in the Golden Years

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