As Dangerous Heat Waves Continue to Plague Philadelphia, Clover Health Urges Seniors to Take Precautions to Avoid Heat-Related Illnesses
Local physician recommends older adults stay indoors and keep hydrated to prevent heatstroke
PHILADELPHIA (AUGUST 19, 2019) – As temperatures rise, Clover Health is encouraging seniors across the Delaware Valley to take extra caution to avoid heat-related illnesses.
With a heatwave already underway in the Philadelphia region, high humidity levels and 90+ degree temperatures are causing triple digit heat index levels. The heat and sun can be a dangerous combination, particularly for seniors. Adults over 65 have a significantly increased risk of heat-related illnesses, some of which, like heat stroke, can be life threatening – especially for those that live alone.
Clover, a Medicare Advantage provider in the region, is dedicated to helping Philadelphia’s seniors stay safe and cool this summer. Today, the company is teaming up with Donald Parks, MD, an in-network Clover physician from Parkstone Medical Associates, to offer five safety recommendations for staying healthy during the next heat wave.
Older adults are more susceptible to dehydration and should buy a reusable water bottle to ensure they have ample water during any outdoor summer activities and travel. It's also important to keep drinking water on an hourly basis to stave off dehydration even if one does not feel thirsty.
Keep Cool By Staying Indoors
When possible, older adults should try to avoid unnecessary exposure to excessive heat. Movie theaters and libraries provide welcome, cool spaces and a great opportunity to get out of the house without heat exhaustion. If one's home is not air conditioned, it is important to verify with doctors that his or her medications remain potent when stored in high temperatures.
Listen To The Body
Seniors sometimes have difficulty regulating their body temperature – a problem that can be exacerbated by chronic medical conditions and prescription medications. If symptoms like dry, flushed skin, sudden confusion, body temperature over 104 degrees, nausea/vomiting, rapid pulse, or fainting occur, adults should immediately seek medical attention (or have someone else do this), get out of the heat, lie down and, if available, place cold compresses and/or ice packs on the body – particularly the back of the neck, forehead, and inside of the wrists.
Proper clothing, such as light-colored and loose-fitting clothes made from natural fabrics like cotton, can go a long way in helping to feel cool and comfortable in warmer weather. Ensure any exposed skin is covered with high-SPF sunscreen. Those who live in areas with a high concentration of mosquitoes should also diligently apply bug repellent—particularly at night—as the elderly are more prone to complications from Mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile Virus.
Stay In Touch With Friends And Family
Constant communication plays an important role in senior summer safety. Older individuals should always let loved ones know if they plan to spend an extended amount of time outdoors – even for simple tasks such as gardening. It's also a good idea to build relationships with neighbors and other members of the local community that can help if close friends and family are unavailable.