Heat Alert Poses Risks For Elderly

Environment Canada has issued heat alerts for most of Ontario July 28 and 29; daytime highs are expected to be in the low 30s and warm overnight temperatures will offer little relief. With the humidity, it will feel closer to 40 C and although there is hope for some relief by the long weekend, the Toronto area may not be so lucky.

Friends and family of older adults are asked to check in to make sure seniors, especially those with chronic illness, are staying cool and well hydrated.

Heat illness symptoms include:

  • dizziness, fainting or nausea
  • headache
  • rapid heartbeat and breathing
  • extreme thirst
  • decreased or dark urine

According to Health Canada, heat stroke is a medical emergency.  If someone you are caring for has a high body temperature, is confused or unconscious or has stopped sweating, call 911.  While waiting for help, try to cool the person by moving them to a cooler place, applying cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing and placing a fan nearby.

Water is the best liquid to stay hydrated, taking small sips throughout the day.  Also try eating more foods with a high water content.  For more information about health risks due to heat and tips for staying safe, visit http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/healthy-living-vie-saine/environment-environnement/sun-soleil/heat-extreme-chaleur-eng.php .