Picente Urges Caution to Seniors During Heat Wave

During the course of the next few days, Oneida County as well as the rest of the Region will be facing extreme temperatures and very high heat indexes.

“Unfortunately, dangerous increases in body temperatures are more likely to occur in the elderly,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. He went on to say, “I urge seniors, and all residents, to follow the precautions listed below and do your best to stay cool.”

Older persons are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons: the elderly people do not adjust to sudden changes in temperature; they are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that upsets normal body responses to heat; they are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibits perspiration.
 
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness.  Heat stroke can cause death or
permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Warning signs: an
extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees); red, hot, and dry skin (no
sweating); a rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; or nausea.
 
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Warning signs: heavy sweating; paleness; muscle cramps; tiredness; weakness; dizziness; headache; nausea or vomiting; fainting; a pulse rate that is fast and weak; or breathing that is fast and shallow.
 
Precautions that can be taken during these high heat days:
  • Drink plenty of cool fluids, nonalcoholic beverages. Avoid extremely cold liquids they can cause cramps.
  • Rest.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • If possible, seek an air conditioned environment. If you don’t have air conditioning consider visiting an air conditioned shopping mall, public libraries, and senior centers.
  • Wear light weight clothing.
  • Remain indoors in the heat of the day.
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities.
It is very important to check on elderly relatives, friends and neighbors during the heat wave. There are very simple precautions: visiting older adults at a risk at least twice a day and watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Taking them to air conditioned locations and making sure older adults have access to electric fans.