Well the heat is on! This week temperatures are on the rise in Connecticut with the heat index expected to surpass 100 degrees. We need to be concerned about monitoring the elderly who can be particularly susceptible to heat-related illness. Air conditioning is the number one way to protect seniors from heat-related illness. If you have an elderly neighbor, friend, or loved one make sure they are using their air conditioner or if they do not have one bring them to an environment such as a senior center, mall, or library – not only will they appreciate you spending some time with them but they will benefit from being in a public facility that is cool. You should also encourage plenty of cool fluids, but avoid liquids that contain alcohol. Encourage that they wear light clothing. If you can, check on them at least twice a day during this period of extreme heat. Be aware of the signs of heat stroke – a potentially life threatening emergency, which include:
high body temperature
red, hot, dry skin
dizziness, nausea, and confusion
…and do not hesitate to call 911 and begin cooling the person.