I spoke to a friend in Virginia today. She was complaining about the hundred plus temperatures that the East Coast is currently experiencing. I feel lucky to be in Kansas City where it is a comfortable 85 degrees.
Yet, high heat and humidity are an inevitable part of summer. Most of us complain a little and then get on with our lives. But, high heat and humidity can be lethal to the elderly, especially to those taking medications for conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease depression and allergies.
Nursing homes should take steps during heat waves to keep residents cool and comfortable and to prevent heat-related illnesses such as heat rash or prickly heat, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Many elderly residents have lowered temperature sensitivity and may not know that they are overheating and these symptoms may be hard to recognize in the elderly. For these reasons, nursing homes are responsible for keeping their residents cool and comfortable and caregivers must recognize the signs of heat illness and provide appropriate medical care when needed.
During heat waves, air conditioning should be kept on. If no air conditioning is available, windows should be opened and fans should be brought in to keep residents cool. Plenty of water and other beverages should be made available to all residents, particularly those taking medication. Many elderly people have a decreased sense of thirst, so caregivers should make sure that residents drink enough to stay hydrated.
Many older people have an increased sensitivity to the sun. To avoid sunburn, residents who are going outside should be dressed in light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and wear hats, sun block and sun glasses.

Has Your Loved One Been Injured In A Nursing Home?

If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule a free consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.