The high temperatures this week can be dangerous for anyone spending time outdoors, but especially Iowa’s older citizens. Christine Grundmeyer, senior manager of clinical services at Waterloo’s Allen Hospital, says it’s a good idea to keep an eye on elderly relatives and friends when it gets this hot.
“Their bodies just don’t adjust to the change in temperature, many times they just don’t feel as hot as (others) do,” Grundmeyer said. The elderly are at a higher risk for heat related illnesses because of medical conditions or the drugs they take can alter the body’s normal response.
“Some of our elderly population have been told to limit their intake so they get a confusing message, and if they have cardiac issues or trouble getting rid of fluid, taking extra fluid can put them at risk in another way. That’s the medical condition that we’re referring to,” Grundmeyer said.
Older adults should be checked for signs of heat stress – which include rapid pulse, shallow breathing, lack of perspiration and body temperatures exceeding 103. Grundmeyer warns if a person exhibits any of those symptoms they should get emergency medical care.
An excessive heat warning remains in effect across Iowa with highs expected between 95 to 105 both today and tomorrow. Cooler conditions should arrive later this weekend, with highs in the 80s on Sunday and Monday.