Why are Seniors More Prone to Heat Stress?

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Heat stress can be a very dangerous situation for anyone, but especially so for vulnerable people such as elderly adults. This condition occurs when their body undergoes particular burden due to hot conditions. This can rapidly lead to very serious consequences, including lasting damage and even death. As a family caregiver, it is important to understand that while heat stress a challenge that anyone can face, seniors are more vulnerable to this condition than others. Recognizing this can help you to identify the specific risk factors that your parent has and take meaningful steps to ease these and protect them.

There are many reasons that elderly adults tend to be more prone to health complications and issues than younger adults. This is the same for heat stress. Some of the reasons that seniors are more vulnerable to heat stress than others include:

• Their bodies tend to not be as capable of coping with radical changes in temperature as younger people
• Seniors are often struggling with other health complications and issues that make them more vulnerable to the heat and the consequences associated with them, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke
• Elderly adults often struggle with dehydration and lower water content in their bodies, which puts them at higher risk of heat consequences
• Seniors often take several prescription medications, many of which can make their body more prone to complications and consequences associated with the heat, including dehydrating their body
• Seniors, especially those who are dealing with cognitive decline and dementia, may not be able to detect that they are overheated or that they are experiencing thirst, making it so that they do not realize when they are in dangerous circumstances and are not able to make the decisions or take the steps that are necessary to overcome these decisions

If you are concerned about your parent’s health or how vulnerable they are to the heat, do not hesitate to talk to their doctor. They can help you to recognize these struggles and suggest the care efforts that you can make to reduce your parent’s risk and keep them safer and healthier in hot situations.

Starting home care for your elderly loved one can be one of the best decisions that you can make for your senior throughout the course of your caregiver journey with your aging parent. An in-home senior care services provider can be in the home with your aging loved one on a customized schedule that is right for them. They will work with you and your parent to design a highly personalized set of services tailored to their individual needs, challenges, and limitations. In addition to helping them to manage these issues, they can also help your senior to pursue a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, and independent as possible as they age in place. This can include assisting your parent with activities of daily living and personal care, offering companionship and support, and even providing safe and reliable transportation that will help your parent stay safe, healthy, and comfortable, and also seek out a life that is as fulfilling as they can during this chapter of their lives.


If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Sterling, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.