Hot Weather Endangers Seniors

Elizabeth S. Reames  |  10/4/2004 4:23:38 AM

Distributed 06/01/01

Hot weather can lead to loss of body water loss, dehydration, heat stroke and even death. Senior citizens especially need to be careful, warns an LSU AgCenter nutritionist.

"Even small losses of body water can impair activity and judgment," says Dr. Beth Reames.

Studies show senior citizens may not drink sufficient fluids. They may also be taking medications, such as diuretics for high blood pressure, which cause fluid loss.

"Since thirst is not the best indicator of how much fluid your body needs," Reames says, "it's important to drink fluids during hot weather even if you're not thirsty."

Water is a great fluid replacer. Drink cool water because it's absorbed faster, and you'll usually drink more of it because it tastes better. The American Dietetic Association recommends that sedentary individuals drink 8 glasses of fluids daily and active individuals 10 glasses daily.

Some beverages, such as those containing caffeine and/or high amounts of sugar and especially alcoholic beverages, may drain body water. Try drinking fruit juice diluted with plain water or sparkling water for a refreshing lift. 

For additional information about coping with the heat, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office. 


Source: Beth Reames - (225) 578-3329, or

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