5 Signs of Heat Stroke to Watch for in Seniors

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People over the age of 65 are more prone to heat stroke than their younger counterparts. Not only do their bodies have a difficult time adjusting to sudden temperature changes, but they may also have medical conditions that make them susceptible to heat exhaustion. Caregivers should be able to identify the following warning signs of heat stroke.  

1. Rising Body Temperature

In the event your loved one experiences a heat stroke, take his or her temperature. As a general rule, a senior’s internal temperature should not go above 100°F. If your loved one’s temperature exceeds 103°F, he or she may need emergency medical services.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an in-home care provider Ahwatukee Foothills, AZ, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

2. Hot, Red, or Dry Skin

Once your loved one’s body has used up most of its water content to bring the temperature down, his or her skin might become hot, red, or extremely dry. Provide your loved one with cold water to drink, and rub his or her skin with a damp washcloth to bring the temperature down. Rubbing the back of the neck and forehead with a wet cloth should cool your loved one down within a few minutes. 

3. Throbbing Headache

As your loved one’s temperature rises, he or she may experience a throbbing headache. These headaches occur because the veins and arteries become dilated to dissipate as much heat as possible. If you can detect the heat exhaustion early, offer your loved one cold water and get him or her out of the sun. Once your loved one has had some water and feels better, you can also give him or her an over-the-counter painkiller if the doctor says it is safe to do so.

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. Ahwatukee Foothills families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.  

4. Dizziness

During a heat stroke, a senior’s cardiovascular system may not be able to effectively distribute blood throughout the body. Ineffective blood circulation can result in a myriad of issues such as general confusion, sudden fatigue, and dizziness. If your loved one feels dizzy, he or she should sit down in an air-conditioned room or car. After your loved one has a chance to recover from the dizziness, suggest taking a cold bath. 

5. Nausea and Vomiting

During strenuous activities, the body begins to shut down non-vital processes, including digestion. Many athletes vomit or become nauseous while training because their bodies stop digesting food. If your loved one vomits, make sure he or she has a few sips of water before eating something.

Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Ahwatukee Foothills live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious health condition and needs 24-hour at-home care, call us at (480) 448-6215 today.


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