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Topic heat exhaustion Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By Mary556 On 2015.06.23 12:40
My PWP had an episode of heat exhaustion last Friday.
Mom often becomes groggy after breakfast, but this was different. She could talk (unlike when she goes into a sort of freeze from dehydration) but she had no stength in her arms to lift herself up from her chair and no strength to sip from a straw.
It was upsetting, especially for my Dad.
I found some info at "WebMD" during Mom's episode that said heat exhaustion is not dangerous in itself, but if left untreated it can develop into heat stroke or even death.
It took a couple hours to cool my mother down and get her back upstairs. I've decided to feed her breakfast in the living room from now on, at least during the hot weather.

I'm wondering how heat exhaustion is different from dehydration?
Are there any other preventative measures we should be taking?

By ResistanceFutil On 2015.06.24 17:36
Mary I'm sorry to hear about your mom's problem, but I don't understand the heat exhaustion, especially in the cooler part of the day. What kind of temperature and humidity is your mother exposed to? I don't know how an elderly person's electrolytes function, but for a younger athletic person, sport-type drinks aren't recommended unless there's an hour or more of moderate to higher exercise. Has she had recent blood work to indicate an electrolyte imbalance?

By LOHENGR1N On 2015.06.24 22:07
Resistance, living with Parkinson's, the stiffness and exertion to move and/or tremor constant movement are viewed by the experts as the equivalent of moderate exercise all day. So we do need to replace electrolytes sometimes. Along with that we can sweat copiously as our bodies try to metabolize our medication, some of us because of the effect on our autonomic nervous system from P.D. have a faulty thermostat and problems regulating our body temp also resulting in "abnormal" sweating. So we really have to keep an eye on hydration and heat exhaustion. These problems because we are slower moving and seem to do less many wouldn't think we'd be prone to but because of the exertion to move and energy used in tremor and exerting movement we are more prone to dehydration and heat exhaustion even heat stroke. I hope this explains where the problems come in. Take care, best of luck and hang in there

By Mary556 On 2015.06.24 23:43
Thanks much, RF and Al. I do not know enough about electrolytes and need to read more to try to understand how they work. No, my Mom has not had any tests to indicate an imbalance.

Breakfast for my parents has been getting later and later as they are both having more difficulty to start each day. It may have been almost noontime when M&D were finishing their morning meal and meds. Indoor temp was probably upper 70's when this episode happened. (We do not have A/C except in my parents' bedroom.) I believe humidity was not bad that day.

My Mom is always warm. Even in the winter she sleeps with just a flannel sheet over her, no blanket. She is not overly active but I'm starting to think that walking up and down those five stairs in the morning may be too strenuous for her in the warmer weather. She does have the type of sweating that Al described (though she does not have much tremor).

Usually when my mother gets lethargic I am able to revive her by opening a window next to her or putting a cold cloth on her face and hands. She cannot stand to have a draft on her or something cold touching her. but sometimes that is the only way to rouse her. Friday morning she did not perk up, even when I put a little fan right beside her.

Thank you both for your kindness. I greatly appreciate your input.

By ResistanceFutil On 2015.06.25 08:47
Thank you Al for the reminders and clarification. And good luck Mary with solving your Mom's difficulties. She is so fortunate to have such a caring and observant caregiver.

By Mary556 On 2015.07.06 09:43
Thank you for your kind words, RF. I've been feeling somewhat weary and inadequate lately & needed that boost of encouragement. More challenges keep cropping up. Hoping we will get a second wind.
God bless all caregivers and PWPs.

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