Many experts expect this month to be one of the HOTTEST on record.
We’ll likely see that mercury reach new heights, with expected temperatures reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now, even as a natural-born sun lover, I understand the intense feelings of dread when dealing with this type of sweltering heat, day after day.
Not to mention (and as I also warn in the current issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter), adults aged 65 and older are especially vulnerable to these record-breaking temps.
Here’s how to stay SAFE during these final summer weeks…
Be wary of heat-related illnesses
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), heat-related illnesses are a growing problem across the globe.
In the earliest stages, you experience something called heat exhaustion, which can quickly—and dangerously—progress into heat stroke.
It all stems from overexposure to the heat and sun.
And experts warn these three factors can increase your risk:
- Biological changes of aging
- Age-related chronic disease
- Medication use
In fact, all three can block your body’s ability to cool itself.
The good news is, knowledge is power—and you CAN protect yourself from heat-related illness and death…
Check the heat index and prepare accordingly
It’s important to realize that even temperatures as “low” as 80 degrees can pose a threat to older adults. So first and foremost, I recommend checking the heat index.
Here are some guidelines from the National Weather Service about the risk of heat exhaustion this summer:
- Caution: 80 to 90°F; fatigue possible
- Extreme caution: 90 to 103°F; heat stroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion possible
- Danger: 103 to 124°F; heat cramps or heat exhaustion likely, and heat stroke possible
- Extreme danger: 125°F or higher; heatstroke highly likely
Then, if you do venture out into the heat, there are some important tips to follow. Here are three:
- Take shade breaks every hour to cool off.
- Stay properly hydrated by drinking two to four cups of water every hour.
- Avoid activity during the hottest part of the day, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. And don’t overexert yourself, especially during these hours.
For more details about how to stay safe this August—including typical signs of heat-related illness, dehydration, and more—check out the current issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives.
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“Heat Affects Older People More. Here’s How to Stay Safe.” The New York Times, 07/20/2023. (nytimes.com/2023/07/20/well/live/heat-illness-safety-older-people.html)