Column: Tips for older adults to avoid heat stress


Commentary by Patrick Broccolo

With spring in full swing, summer will be here before you know it. Did you know that older adults are more prone to heat stress? It is important that they and those who care for them be proactive in the increased temperatures that sunny summers can bring. As people age, they tend to dehydrate more quickly, and their skin is more susceptible to the sun. Other contributing factors can be prescription medications and chronic medical conditions.

To help stay proactive, consider the following:

  • Stay hydrated with adequate daily fluid intake throughout the day. Water is the best choice as soda, coffee and tea contain diuretics which increase water removal from the body.
  • Stay protected by wearing a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses when outside. Even while driving in the car, the sun’s rays can penetrate the front windshield and cause sunburn.
  • Stay cool and find some shade. Wearing loose, lightweight, or light-colored clothing can make a big difference.

While a little Vitamin D is good for us all, it is important to remain mindful of our own heat and humidity tolerance. Enjoy your safe and sun-filled summer days.

Patrick Broccolo, CNA, is co-owner of Senior1Care, which provides trained, in-home caregivers who assist with dementia care, homemaker and companion services throughout Hamilton and Boone counties. For more, Visit


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