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Q: What dangers to the elderly face in the summer?

Posted July 17, 2013 in Advice Column

A: The summer can be a great relief time for relaxation, vacation and fun, but it can also be a dangerous place for many of us, primarily the elderly.

One of the leading causes of health risk that often causes death in seniors is heat stroke. The most recent Centers for Disease Control study shows that an estimated “3,442 deaths between the years 1999-2003” caused by heat in age groups 1 – 65 with the highest number of death between the ages 45 – 65 as one of the leading health risk in the summer time.

Another leading health risk among the age groups 45 – 65 is dehydration, As we age our body loses water.

An estimated 76 million cases of food poison occur every year especially around the summer time. These are situations “where food may be left unrefrigerated too long or food preparation techniques are not clean. Food poisoning often occurs from eating undercooked meats, dairy products or food containing mayonnaise (like coleslaw or potato salad) that have sat out too long.” Most cases of mild food poisoning go unreported, with the elderly at greater risk.

Enjoy your summer months, and keep this information in mind as temperatures climb.

Information provided by Jill Scott, Administrator, Windsor Manor Assisted Living, 1401 Wall St., Webster City, 515-832-1188.

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