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Heat puts stress on the physical health of the elderly, and it is possible to be affected by heat stroke even indoors. Be sure to keep track of the room temperature and adjust the air conditioner accordingly. Those who are around the elderly should also be aware of the temperature in the room they are in. Even when saving electricity, it is important to make use of the air conditioner.
Heat stroke occurs when a person remains in a hot environment for a long period of time. Be careful when it is particularly hot and take refuge in an air-conditioned room or other cool place. Caution is needed especially at the end of the rainy season when the weather suddenly turns hot because the body is still not used to the heat. High humidity prevents sweat from evaporating from the body, and this can accelerate an increase in body temperature.
It’s important to replenish the water lost from sweating, so be sure to drink water before you become thirsty. This is particularly important for the elderly, who tend to sweat less and feel less thirsty than others. Don’t forget one last drink of water before going to bed! However, the body loses salt as well as water when it sweats, so be sure to drink both water and beverages that include salt, too. Conversely, alcohol can be dangerous because it actually replaces water in the human body and can cause dehydration.
The symptoms of heat stroke include dizziness, headache, vomiting, and fatigue. In the worst cases, it can cause unconsciousness and death. If you feel strange, go immediately to a cool place and seek treatment at a medical facility.
Take notice not only how you are handling the heat, but also the people around you; talk with them and ask them how they are doing. Take note also of your companions when in group activities. Pay constant attention to the people around one, not only care for yourself but be aware of your neighbor’s physical condition at all times.
Note: “Five Points to Prevent Heat Stroke” was produced in cooperation with the Center for Advanced Emergency Medical Care of the Saitama Medical Center and the Emergency Care Department of the Saitama City Municipal Hospital