Home Health Nurses Keep Track of Elderly in the Heat

Home Health Nurses Keep Track of Elderly in the Heat

The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2010
By Brooke Minters

PHILADELPHIA, PA — The fan was cranked up high in the ovenlike living room when home health nurse Monica Coleman entered the East Oak Lane home Wednesday. Coleman, 51, with the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia, was there to check on Sandra Randolph, 67, who had recently left the hospital after a bout with congestive heart failure. When the weather gets unbearable, Coleman, a registered nurse for 30 years, worries most about her patients who had congestive heart failure or need kidney dialysis, she said. Many are on water pills, which prevent fluid retention by ridding the body of excess salt and water. They can dehydrate people, leading to low blood pressure, fainting, and dizziness. The heat can also make them drink too much water, increasing fluid retention. “Either way, you’re going to the hospital,” Coleman said.

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