5 Alarming Signs of Heat Stroke in Seniors

By Marvin, 9:00 am on

Even healthy seniors can have a difficult time regulating their internal body temperature during the summer, which is one of the reasons heat strokes are so common in warmer climates. While this heat-related illness is dangerous, those who catch the early warning signs can often prevent health complications. 

1. Confusion

Sudden confusion in an elderly loved one should never be taken lightly. Also referred to as delirium, this symptom is a sign the brain isn’t getting enough blood. Seniors who are experiencing acute confusion should immediately get out of the sun and seek out air conditioning. Nearby shopping malls and movie theaters are great places to get out of the heat. Many public libraries also offer seniors classes in air-conditioned rooms during the hottest hours of the day. 

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Plano, TX, home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

2. Nausea or Vomiting

When a senior begins to overheat, various bodily functions such as digestion may shut down, which leads to vomiting. Seniors who want to get outside and exercise during the summer months should only leave the house in the early morning hours or late at night. As an alternative to exercising outside, seniors might want to join a gym during the summer. 

3. Hot or Dry Skin

Sudden changes to the skin can be caused by severe dehydration or a heat stroke. If your loved one has been acting unusual or complaining of other problems, immediately feel his or her forehead to see if the skin is hot, dried out, or clammy. One simple way to bring the body back down to a safe temperature is to wipe down the skin with a damp cloth. Your loved one can also take a cold shower to bring his or her body temperature down. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Plano families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.

4. A Throbbing Headache

As a senior’s internal body temperature rises, his or her vessels become dilated, including the brain arteries and vessels that help him or her think clearly. Seniors experiencing the initial stages of heat stroke often complain of throbbing headaches and palpitations. These unusual symptoms might take place alongside general confusion and dizziness because of a lack of blood in the brain. 

5. Sudden Sleepiness

If heat exhaustion is not treated, the senior might become very tired or fall asleep in an unusual location. Immediately call an ambulance if the weather is hot and your aging loved one is having a tough time keeping his or her eyes open. Within just a few moments of going unconscious, brain cells can become permanently damaged. Getting your loved one to a shady area, putting an ice pack on his or her neck, and providing cold water should bring his or her temperature down until the ambulance arrives.

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Plano, Texas, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. Call Home Care Assistance at (214) 586-0120 and find out how our customized care plans can benefit your aging loved one.