Welcome to House of Light, a blog produced and managed by the staff of Casa de la Luz Hospice. Casa de la Luz ("house of light" in Spanish) is a locally owned and operated hospice, serving the city and surrounding communities of Tucson, Arizona. Through this blog, we hope to offer education, information, and support about caregiving and hospice care to terminally ill patients and their loved ones. For more information, visit the contact us page.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tips for Living in the Summer Heat

Summer weather has arrived in Tucson, and it looks like it’s here to stay. The heat can be especially hard on people aged 65 and older and those with chronic illnesses. Here are our tips for managing the hot summer weather.

Stay hydrated. It’s especially important to drink water, even more than you normally would, is the CDC’s recommendation.

Avoid using the stove or oven. These appliances will only make your home warmer. Try meal options such as salads, chilled soups, and sandwiches.

Keep in touch. If you live alone, ask a neighbor, family member, or friend to check on you. Do the same for them or another person. 

Remain indoors. Once the temperatures reach the 90s, it’s best to try and remain in an air conditioned setting. The CDC says even a few hours spent inside a shopping mall or public library can help you stay cooler. The local health department can also direct you to any heat relief shelters.

Take cool baths/showers. This will help cool your body down, and according to the CDC, can be more effective  than electric fans in times of very high heat.

Apply sunscreen. Wear a lip balm with SPF 15 and choose a sunscreen that is at least SPF 15 or higher. 

Know the symptoms of heat-related illnesses. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, feeling weak and/or confused, dizziness, nausea, headache, fast heartbeat, and dark-colored urine.
Heat stroke is defined when the internal body temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Symptoms of heat stroke include vomiting, high fever, severe headache, lack of sweating, muscle weakness or cramps, nausea, and more. Heat stroke is much more dangerous than heat exhaustion, and can cause damage to the organs and the brain.

The weather becomes more dangerous as temperatures rise, and we encourage you to stay safe this summer.

Information compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and FamilyDoctor.org

Carrie Bui, Communications Specialist

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