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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – With temperatures rising, the effects of high heat can take its toll, especially with the elderly. The aging body has a harder time regulating its internal temperature and may require additional caution to prevent overheating this summer.

Factors that can put the elderly at risk of overheating:

  • 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

Signs of overheating:

  • Sudden dizziness
  • Thirst
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Muscle spasms
  • Cramps in your abdomen, arms, or legs
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in your ankles
  • Lack of coordination
  • Cold, clammy skin

How seniors can reduce their risk of heat related problems:

  • Listen to the weather forecast
  • Stay in to stay cool
  • Keep your home cool
  • Open windows across the room from each other to create circulation (cross-ventilation)
  • Cover windows that are in direct sunlight
  • Avoid exercising in the heat
  • Dress appropriately
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol