Senior Matters: senior citizens and high temperatures

When we get older our bodies are just not the same as they use to be. So, when we deal with the high temperatures like what we have been dealing with lately for senior citizens this can be very dangerous.

It’s hot, it’s humid, we’re all uncomfortable outside, but do we think of the dangers this may bring for senior citizens? Signs of a heat stroke can be delayed in our older years and they may not even be the same as a younger person.

News 25 spoke with Amy Rogers of Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula about the heat and what to expect if you’re a senior citizen having a heat related illness. “You may just see more confusion, an altered mental status, hallucinations.”

Many seniors live alone so having someone to come check in and make sure they’re okay may mean life or death. “You may think grandma is doing okay at home, but not know that she’s not running her air conditioner at night.”

People’s ability to notice a change in body temperature decreases with age. Medicine and health problems that some seniors deal with can have an effect on if their body can detect the heat. There are some steps they can take to stay safe. “Things you could do would be to stay inside, especially in the middle of the day when it’s very hot. If you have anything to do outside do it early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperatures aren’t as bad,” said Rogers.

Rogers also says to drink plenty of water. Dehydration in senior citizens is a problem because your thirst mechanisms aren’t what they used to be. Pascagoula resident Susan Fink said, “You always need to be hydrated and it’s easy not to do it. If you don’t like the taste of water there are things you can do. You can add a little fruit to it, a little juice.”

If you decide to go out during the hottest times of the day wear a hat and sunscreen and stay in the shade. Overall it’s just about taking precautions, watching for the signs, and to call 911 immediately if you notice those warning signs.

If you have any ideas for the Senior Matters segment, send story ideas to or send a letter to WXXV-TV 14351 HWY 49 North Gulfport, MS 39503 ATTN: News Department.

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