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Elderly Safety & Abuse Prevention
The elderly population is extremely vulnerable to the hot sun and temperatures of Arizona. The temperatures within Arizona can reach above 100 F for almost half of the year. These levels of excessive heat can result in dehydration, exhaustion and even heat stroke.
Heat Safety Tips:
The American Red Cross has several safety tips to prepare for days with excessive heat:
- Have a plan for what to do if the power goes out.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. It’s also a good idea to wear a hat or carry an umbrella.
- Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.
- Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high protein foods.
- Avoid strenuous activity. If you do activity, do it during the morning or later in the evening. Take frequent breaks.
- Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay out of the direct sunshine.
- Be a good neighbor. Check on neighbors during heat waves, especially the elderly, the ill or people who don’t have air-conditioning.
What to Look For!
- Heat exhaustion: This usually occurs when people are doing something strenuous and bodily fluids are lost because of sweating. Signals include cool, moist, pale, flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness and exhaustion. Get the person to a cooler place and have them rest in a comfortable position. Give the person half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes and apply cool, wet cloths to the person’s skin. Call 911 if the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness.
- Heat stroke: Heat stroke is life-threatening. The victim’s temperature-control system has stopped working and can no longer sweat as a way to cool down the body. Body temperature can rise to the point that brain damage or death could occur if the body isn’t cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red and/or dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Call 911 immediately and move the person to a cool place. Quickly cool the body with wet towels or sheets, and use a water hose if available. If the victim refuses water or is vomiting, or there is a change in consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink.
Heat Stress in the Elderly:
Extreme Heat Advisory:
Make sure to always check the news and weather before going outside.