Intense Heat A Threat To Our Elderly

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Updated: 7/02 6:42 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN, (WDEF)-When the sun comes out so do the shorts, sneakers and cameras but often we push ourselves too far when its too hot,  those with diabetes and heart problems are most at risk.

At Erlanger East, doctors say the heat can have a serious affect on our elderly as well as impact their medications.

"Hey these medications make you even more susceptible, they increase fluid losses in diuretics, blood pressures, invasive dilators so they can drop blood pressure patients aren't well controlled, blood pressure is high all these factors"

Dr. Tye Young added they have had no heat related patients yet at their hospital this summer, but say each year too many don't follow medical advice and will end up in the hospital.

"Basically heat exhaustion they are not to the point where they have focal, neurological deficits like weakness, visual loss, collapse, but heat exhaustion bordering on collapse, definitely altered mentations"

At East Gate Senior Center instructors say they teach all of their clients about the importance of hydration in this intense heat and not just during dance classes.

Martha Leonard, "To a place where they can go I know that will be hard for many in rural areas, sometimes you have to do it yourself you can't depend on others"

Irene Eubanks,"Very important to stay hydrated and in this time you know with the temperatures rising really high right now"

For the retirees they say family and community are vital.

"Stay in touch with family, let family check on them and make sure everything is okay with them"

Heat exhaustion  also plays a role in making nearly 2000 ill patients worse during the summer months.

Doctors say to stay hydrated and be aware of how the heat can affect your medications.    

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