How can I prevent overheating if I am elderly?

If you are elderly, staying in an air-conditioned environment is the top preventive measure for overheating. Unfortunately, air-conditioning is not always available. When that’s the case, try to spend time in public facilities that are air-conditioned. Many communities open cooling centers during periods of high or excessive heat.

Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, even when you are not thirsty. Elderly persons often have impaired thirst mechanisms to begin with, so it is vitally important to stay on top of your fluid intake. If you have issues with fluid retention, work closely with your doctor to find the right balance between medication dosage and fluid intake.

Also, avoid direct sunlight and wear loose, lightweight clothing.

Other recommendations include:
  • Take cool showers or baths, if possible, to help cool off.
  • Avoid using your stove and oven to cook, if possible, as their usage will make your home -- and you -- hotter.
  • Ask a loved one or neighbor to check on you daily. If you are able, check in with them.
  • Stay updated with weather forecasts from local news agencies to know when excessive heat warnings are in effect.
As always, if you or someone you know seems affected by the heat, seek medical care immediately.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.