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Seniors, Beat the Heat By Staying Cool

By HERWriter
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seniors should stay cool to beat the heat Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Summer has replaced winter, and for that you may be grateful. At least until the temperatures begin to soar.

If you live in an area where summer heat can get uncomfortable or even dangerous, don't take unnecessary risks.

And, as a senior, though you may balk at the idea of acting like a little old lady or a little old man, the truth is you are more vulnerable to heat's consequences.

You are more likely to get dehydrated, because those sweat glands that have been with you for all these many decades aren't as effective as they used to be.

And your blood vessels just don't carry as much blood to your skin as they did in your younger years.

Knowing this though, you can make allowances for your greater needs.

Have a drink. Then have another one. And I don't mean a Tequila Sunrise.

Water, water and more water. And ditch the coffee, tea or soda -- you don't need the caffeine right now. Fruit juice or vegetable juice are good for a change. But major on the H2O.

Clothing made of cotton or other natural fabrics, and light in color, will not be as hot as synthetics and dark colors. A hat and sunglasses will protect you from the harsher sun's rays.

Don't spend time outside when the thermometer is about to explode. If your place isn't air conditioned, consider a trip to a mall, movie theater or senior center and feel the cool.

If you must stay in, the bath tub and shower are your friends, keeping your body temperature down. Even application of a cold wet cloth to the armpits, groin, neck and wrists will help.

According to Peter Galier, MD, of the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, when people perspire their electolyte levels drop, and dehydration can occur. If the situation is not remedied, it can be followed by heat stroke.

Heat stroke is the result of the inability to sweat, and so the inability to cool off. Body temperature consequently ratchets up. Other heat-related conditions are heat exhaustion, heat fatigue and heat cramps.

When body temperatures rise to dangerously high levels, the U.S. National Institute identifies this as hyperthermia.

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Living out in Henderson, Nevada this is especially true for all ages. Have to stay hydrated all day long especially if you are out and about.

Marielaina Perrone DDS
Henderson Dentist

October 17, 2012 - 10:41am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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