Patient Tip Sheets
Hot Weather Safety Tips for Older Adults
Hot weather can be dangerous, especially for older adults. Every summer, nearly 200 Americans die of health problems caused by high heat and humidity —and most of them are 50 or older. Hot weather is more likely to cause health problems for older adults for a number of reasons. Physical changes that happen with age make older people less likely to notice when they feel hot, even when outside temperatures are high. They also can’t cool down as quickly or as well as younger people. Older adults are also less likely to feel thirsty, which means they’re more likely to become dehydrated (a loss of too much water in your body). Heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases common in later life also increase risks of heat-related problems. So do some medicines prescribed for these and other health problems, and many over-the-counter drugs. Some of the medicines that may have these side effects are water pills, allergy and sinus pills, and nerve medications.