KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The summer heat can be brutal for people at any age, but it can be particularly dangerous for seniors.
Elaine Syng grew up in South Carolina. Now, living in the Kansas City metro, she knows a thing or two about how to stay cool during the summer months.
“We try to do our errands as early as possible,” Syng said.
Syng works as a caregiver with Home Instead Senior Care.
“I am a senior, but I’m not as senior as they are,” Syng said. “So I’m aware of the body is not able to cool itself like it.”
She encourages them to crank up the A/C, wear light-colored clothing and keep a glass of water in every room.
“Observation is a really big part about being a caregiver,” Tamika Miller said.
Miller knows that from experience. She said it’s important you don’t just pick up a phone. Go visit and look for the signs of heat exhaustion.
“You look for their skin, if it’s getting cold or clammy. You look for the dizzIness, the vomiting that can come with that,” Miller said, “just any kind of change in their overall experience and behavior.”
Experts say 40% of heat-related deaths are people over the age of 65.
Seniors tend to take more prescription medicines. So it’s important to note that heat has a bigger impact if you’re on medication.
“Don’t underestimate that you can die from heatstroke,” Syng said. “Don’t stay out too long. If you start feeling funny, you need to get somewhere where you can cool down for awhile.”
Actually going to visit seniors you care about in their home is especially important this time of year. If you see signs that point to heat exhaustion, don’t hesitate to get them checked out.