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VNA urges seniors to beat the heat

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By The Staff

TELL CITY - When the temperature rises above 90 degrees and the humidity is high, any age group can suffer from heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

However, people 65 years of age and older are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons.

The elderly are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat, take a prescription medicine that impairs the body's ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibits perspiration, and have difficulty adjusting to sudden changes in temperature.

Heat strokes require emergency medical attention. Symptoms include red, hot and dry skin with no sweating, dizziness, headaches, nausea, rapid pulse and a body temperature over 103 degrees.

Heat exhaustion may occur when the body loses too much water and salt due to excessive perspiration. Symptoms may include cool and moist skin, fainting, nausea or vomiting, paleness, heavy sweating, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness and headache.

Some preventive measures to protect yourself from heat-related stress include wearing lightweight clothing, resting, taking a cool shower or bath, remaining indoors during the heat of the day, seeking an air-conditioned environment, not engaging in strenuous activities and drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages.

If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on diuretics or "water pills," ask how much you should drink when the weather is hot.

For information on VNA's services call 547-7967 or visit www.vnahc.org.