Senior Care Houston TX: The Dangers of Overheating in Older Adults
Hot weather can have a dire effect on senior health because the aging body has a harder time regulating its internal temperature. Do you know what steps to take to avoid overheating?
By Krisha McCoy, MS
Too much heat can be dangerous at any age, but as you get older, your body has an even harder time dealing with extreme heat, putting you at a higher risk of overheating and heat stroke. You can reduce this risk by taking a few steps to protect your health when the weather is hot.
Why Overheating Is More Common in Seniors
Your brain sends special signals to your body when it begins to overheat. The signals prompt your body to release hormones that cause you to sweat. Think of sweating as your body’s central air-conditioning system, cooling you down both at the skin surface and internally as your body temperature decreases. But sometimes it gets too hot for this cooling mechanism to work, and it can become less efficient as you get older. A number of factors can put you at higher risk of overheating as you age, including:
- Decreased blood circulation
- Sweat glands that have become inefficient
- Weakness or fever due to age-related illness (such as heart, lung, or kidney disease)
- A salt-restricted diet for high blood pressure
- Certain medications (such as heart and blood pressure drugs, sedatives, and tranquilizers)
- Being overweight or underweight
- Lifestyle factors that range from living in a hot home and overdressing to a lack of transportation
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