As New England experiences it’s first heat wave of the Summer it’s very important to be mindful of your body and any physical exertion you do while exposed to extreme heat. There are three kinds of heat related illnesses: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. We will go through the three illnesses and the signs you should look for as well as how best to treat them. If you experience any of these symptoms for more than 1 hour you should seek medical attention.
Top 3 Heat Related Illnesses
This is the mildest form of heat related illness and is usually caused by severe fluid and electrolyte loss. They consist of painful muscle cramps and spasms and usually happen after exercising or sweating in high heat.
What to do if you are experiencing heat cramps:
- Stop physical activity and move to a cool place
- Hydrate – either with water or a sports drink
- Allow the cramps to go away before resuming any physical activity.
This is a result of not enough water and salt in the body and usually occurs when there is an excessive amount of sweating and not enough fluids are consumed. Without the proper fluids your body is not able to cool itself properly resulting in heat exhaustion.
What to do if you are experiencing heat exhaustion:
- Move to a cool place
- Loosen any clothing that you can
- Take a cool bath or put on cool, wet clothes
- Sip water
This is the most severe heat illness and occurs when the body’s heat regulating system is overwhelmed by excessive heat. If someone is experiencing a heat stroke, immediately seek medical attention.
After seeking medical attention you should:
- Move the person to a cooler place
- Lower the persons temperature with cool clothes or water
Hydration: keeping yourself hydrated is important on a daily basis but especially during very hot weather. In addition to drinking enough water, try eating hydrating foods like watermelons, peaches, berries, grapes and oranges. If you feel thirsty, chances are you are already mildly dehydrated so be sure to drink water and eat hydrating foods throughout the day.
Beat the Heat: Discover life at a Northbridge community
Our communities are staying cool this week with indoor programs, rides around town in the community van and of course – ice cream!
If you’re considering senior living for yourself or a family member, we hope you’ll visit one of our communities. You’ll find a maintenance-free, activity-filled and engaging lifestyle to help support your wellness goals.
You’ll also discover many benefits in a Northbridge Senior Living community, including our Signature Program S.T.A.R. Club (Sharp Thinking, Active Residents) – which offers our residents several activities to participate in with others, including:
- Daily exercise group
- Walking club
- Tai Chi & yoga
- Nutritional classes
- Library and book club
- Museum outings
- Artists in residence program
- Multi-generational music
- Genealogy Generations
If you are considering senior living as the right choice for yourself or a loved one, we invite you to Find a Northbridge Community near you to learn more.