An elderly man was found lying naked by the compound wall of the Government Royapettah Hospital on Friday.

A passerby said the man was disoriented and did not know where he was.

The police in the hospital outpost identified him as Hanumantha Rao, a resident of Poonamallee. “He had a bag with him and we found an address in it. We were able to trace his family,” a police officer said. The police informed Hanumantha Rao’s son, Satish.

A resident of Lakshmi Nagar, Porur, he said, “My father has the habit of going out in the afternoons. He usually returns home an hour or two later. On Wednesday, he left home around 2.30 p.m. and when he did not return until late in the evening I went to the police station to lodge a complaint.”

Doctors say Hanumantha Rao, who has diabetes and high BP, might have suffered heat exhaustion. They advise that elders with chronic conditions should be especially careful when they go out in the sun and must carry an umbrella.

“Elderly patients are likely to suffer from heat exhaustion as they don’t take an umbrella with them when they go out in the sun. We don’t see heat stroke in the elderly. Only those who do hard manual labour are susceptible to heat stroke,” said B. Krishnaswamy, head of geriatrics department at Madras Medical College. He advises elderly persons to consult their physicians about adjusting medications if they are diabetic or hypertensive to rule out unpleasant episodes.

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