Father's Day is just around the corner. The plans for the family barbecue, picnic or outing are well under way. So... bring on the hot dogs, burgers, grilled corn and potato salad!
Your Father's Day celebration is in full swing—sitting outside, laughing, joking and telling stories as the little ones run around making their noisy lovable selves known. But as the day's temperature continues to increase by the hour, you may not realize that dad, grandpa, or great grandpa is starting to overheat!
Come mid-end June, as temperatures, humidity, and the sun intensity continues to rise, our elderly population will be at risk for experiencing heat related emergencies—high blood pressure, dementia, heart disease, or other pre-existing conditions can put our older loved ones in jeopardy for suffering a heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
Often times, physical changes that accompany Heat Exhaustion (hyperthermia- the body exceeds 106 degrees) or Heat Stroke (a milder form of heat-related illness) can go unnoticed by the individual themselves or even their caregiver if one does not know the warning signs. The following are indicative of heat related health issues that you need to watch for, particularly on a hot day.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke
- Profuse Sweating
- Extreme Tiredness
- Overall Body Weakness
- Fainting Spell
- Increased Pulse
- Hot Skin or Dryness
- Confusion/Change in Mental Status
Now that you know what to look out for, the following are tips to keeping your elderly loved one—dad, grandpa, or great grandpa safe during their Father's Day celebration:
- Drink plenty of fluids-this includes non-caffeinated liquids and a reminder to drink frequently and at regular intervals
- Wear lightweight, breathable clothing
- Be sure medications do not interact with the sun and heat
- If possible, periodically bring your loved one into a cool environment
- Make sure sunscreen is used on exposed skin (thinning of the skin occurs as we age, causing unexpected sunburns)
- Eat hydrating foods such as fruit, salads and jello
If you suspect that dad or grandpa are showing signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!
While waiting for emergency services to arrive, rapidly fan and cover them with a cool, damp towel or sheet.
Wishing you and your families a wonderful, safe, and Happy Father's Day!