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Medical Director for Renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home Offers Top Tips to Elderly in Coping With Searing Temperatures Across U.S.
Date:6/30/2008

RESEDA, Calif., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- As heat waves plague much of the United States with the hottest days yet to come, the medical director for the famed nonprofit Los Angeles Jewish Home -- one of the country's largest single-source provider of senior housing in Los Angeles -- has offered tips for the nation's elderly to avoid the health dangers of extreme heat.

Each year in the United States, about 200 people die of health problems caused by high heat and humidity. Most of the victims are age 50 or older. "Older adults and the elderly are at significantly higher risk on very hot days," said Jewish Home Medical Director Rick Smith. "Due to age-related physical changes, older adults can't cool down as well as younger adults; and they don't feel as hot when temperatures are dangerously high."

In addition, according to Dr. Smith, the elderly are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that upsets normal body responses to heat; and they are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration. The signs and symptoms of heat stroke include:

-- An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees F)

-- Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)

-- Rapid, strong pulse

-- Throbbing headache

-- Dizziness

-- Nausea

Heat exhaustion signs and symptoms include:

-- Heavy sweating

-- Paleness

-- Muscle cramps

-- Tiredness

-- Weakness

-- Dizziness

-- Headache

-- Nausea or vomiting

-- Fainting

-- Skin: may be cool and moist

-- Pulse rate: fast and weak

-- Breathing: fast and shallow

Dr. Smith offered these tips for dealing with heat:

-- Limit exposure to outdoor and indoor heat. -- Spend time in air-conditioned buildings such as shopping malls, senior centers, public libraries or movie theatres.

-- Take a cool shower or bath.

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SOURCE Los Angeles Jewish Home
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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