Heat dangers for older people: Youngstown woman wandered off, confused

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An elderly woman with heat exhaustion was found walking on an I-680 ramp Thursday, staggering and confused

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – An elderly woman was overcome by heat Thursday and thanks to a good Samaritan, got help. Elderly advocates say it’s important to remember heat can be very dangerous for older people.

Several people called 911 Thursday to report an elderly woman was confused and walking toward heavy traffic.

911 caller: “There is an elderly woman that is walking up the on-ramp of 680. She was staggering down Midlothian.”

One of those callers, Jane McMurphy, stopped on her way to work to help.

Dispatcher: “She is there with an elderly female on foot, walking on the on-ramp.”

McMurphy works for Animal Charity. She said she feared the woman was having a medical emergency.

McMurphy 911 call: “She’s staggering and very confused.”

“I approached her while I was on the phone with 911 and I asked her if she was OK,” McMurphy said. “She said she was, but I knew that she was overheated. She was dripping sweat, she had flushed cheeks.”

She had the woman wait in her air-conditioned SUV until help arrived.

The woman was treated for heat exhaustion. At the time, temperatures were in the mid-80s.

Senior advocates say the elderly can be overcome by heat very quickly and it’s up to community members to look out for them.

“If you think someone does have heat stroke or heat exhaustion, it is a medical emergency and you really need to call medical personnel and have them treated,” Zoanne Sharpe said.

Some signs to watch for are confusion, dizziness and profuse sweating.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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