ACCESS Nursing News and Blog

Summer’s Sizzling Heat Can Make Us Sick, Especially the Elderly

Posted by David Coonin on Jul 16, 2018 4:55:17 PM

Follow These Tips to Keep Your Elderly Loved One Healthy and Safe

iStock_000016132671LargeThis summer’s hot, steamy temperatures creates more than simple discomfort for many people — especially for those who are sick and especially, for the elderly, who are far more susceptible to heat-related ailments and consequent hospital stays.  In fact, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), people aged 65 and over accounted for more heat-related hospitalizations than any other age group, with males being hospitalized for heat-related illnesses more than twice as often as females.

Oftentimes after their hospital stay or outpatient care, many seniors return to their homes alone where they again confront the same risks.  Being alone during a period of extreme temperatures, can be very risky and dangerous for the elderly. An elderly person may not even realize he/she is overheated or dehydrated due to the effects of some medications, as well as for those suffering from dementia or diabetes, which can reduce sensation. 

A Private Duty Nurse can, therefore, make all the difference in ensuring that your loved one stays safe, comfortable and hydrated in order to prevent the risk of heat-related illnesses.  A skilled, experienced and compassionate caregiver will always prove to be invaluable and offers the highest level of security and peace of mind.

However, if alone during a heat wave, please make sure that your elderly loved one:

  • Stays in the coolest part of the house, keeps the air conditioner on and avoids activity.
  • Eats lightly and drinks plenty of fluids.
  • Uses hand-held fans and misters.
  • Cools down quickly if overheated using wet washcloths, icepacks or even frozen vegetables rubbed over his/her face, neck and wrists.

For more health tips and information about Private Duty Nurses, go to

Topics: Blog