Helping seniors keep their cool during times of extreme heat
With dangerously-high temperatures forecast for Pennsylvania and Maryland over the next several days, it is critical that we keep a close eye on individuals who may be more prone to heat-related illnesses, including older adults.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seniors are more prone to heat stress due to several reasons, including:
- Chronic medical conditions that change normal body responses to heat.
- Prescription medicines that affect the body’s ability to control its temperature or sweat.
- Age-related reduction in ability to perspire to regulate body temperature.
Keep a close eye on your older loved ones and neighbors to make sure they are staying hydrated, have access to air conditioning and are not showing signs of heat stress.
To stay cool and hydrated, the CDC recommends that seniors:
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If a senior’s home doesn’t have air conditioning, locate an air-conditioned senior center or shelter nearby, or contact your local municipality for a list of cooling centers.
- Drink more water than usual.
- Don’t use the stove or oven to cook as it will make homes hotter.
- Do NOT rely on a fan as a main cooling source.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down.