Most people are familiar with hypothermia, but hyperthermia is just as much of a problem. Hyperthermia involves your elderly family member becoming overheated because she's not able to fully regulate her body temperature. Like hypothermia, hyperthermia can be an issue because external temperatures are too warm, but understanding the factors that worsen the situation is important.
Dehydration is a fast way to get someone into a state of hyperthermia, especially if temperatures are rising. Make sure that you're encouraging your aging adult to drink plenty of water and to get fluids in other ways, such as through foods that are high in water content. Keeping a chilled water bottle handy is a great way to make water more appealing.
Some medications can contribute to dehydration, even if your elderly family member is drinking what seems like enough water. Talk to your elderly family member's doctor about the medications that she's taking and how they might affect her during warmer weather. It's possible that some medications might need adjusting or changing in terms of dosage or the medication itself. Once that happens, your elderly family member might not be as much at risk.
Health conditions can also make a senior more susceptible to hyperthermia. High blood pressure, lung disease, kidney disease, and so many other issues can make it difficult for your senior's body to keep up with temperature regulation. Other issues, such as poor circulation, might also be a factor even if it's not a condition that your senior is actively treating. Work with your senior's doctor about what you can do to help her to avoid complications due to existing health situations.
In some cases, it's not the health issue but the dietary changes your elderly family member is making to combat the health issue that contributes to hyperthermia. Talk with your elderly family member's doctor about any dietary changes recommended to see if those might affect her in other ways so that you can work on ways to account for the changes.
Work with your elderly family member's doctor to learn what to watch for in terms of hyperthermia. You might want to also enlist the help of senior care providers in both spotting signs and doing what you can to reduce the risk as much as you can. Being prepared helps you to do far more than you might think.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Williamston, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.