Being overheated is an unpleasant situation for anyone, but for your vulnerable elderly adult, it can rapidly go from uncomfortable to extremely dangerous. Heat stress refers to the physical burden that is placed on the body when under hot conditions, and for a senior, this can mean lasting damage or even death if not managed properly. In extreme circumstances, your parent could suffer from heat stroke, during which the body’s temperature could rise to 106 degrees or even higher in as little as 10 minutes. As a family caregiver, it is critical that you are able to recognize the signs of such a heat-related emergency so that you can get them the prompt and effective care that is necessary to help them through such a situation with minimized negative impact.
Some of the signs of a heat-related emergency include:
• Red, dry skin
• Lack of sweat
• Very high temperature (more than 103)
• Rapid pulse
• Throbbing headache
It is important to understand that heat stroke is a medical emergency that could have dire consequences if it is not managed properly and promptly. If you notice any of these symptoms in your aging parent it is critical to cool them down as quickly as possible and to get them emergency medical attention. Have someone call emergency medical services while you cool your parent down, including getting them into the shade or an air conditioned location.
Do anything that you can to bring their temperature down rapidly, such as…
–Submerging them in a tub of cool water,
–Spraying them with a hose,
–Wrapping towels soaked in cool water around their necks, under their arms, on their feet, and in between their legs.
Fan them and continue your efforts until their body temperature has lowered to below 102 degrees or emergency medical personnel has arrived. Ensure that you provide full information to this team, including your parent’s age, their current health and any issues that they might be facing, and their symptoms.
A Senior Care Provider Can Help…
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 senior care in Dana Point, CA, please contact the caring staff at Canaan Home Care today!