By: George Hulse
Summer is the season of fun in the sun. But it’s also the time of year when intense heat waves can be overbearing. Our senior citizens are especially affected by increased risk for heat-induced conditions such as exhaustion, dehydration or heat stroke. With sweltering temps extending for sometimes weeks, you need to be prepared to “keep your cool” when the thermometer rises to dangerous levels. Some simple steps include:
· Making sure fans or air conditioners are working properly
· Take a cool shower or bath
· Close your shades and curtains to keep out the sun
· Drink lots of water
For seniors without adequate cooling equipment in their homes, there are numbers of cooling centers in your area that are free to visit and will accommodate you all day. Your local senior center is a great place to visit to cool off. Many offer services such as free health screenings, seminars, and activities.
And don’t forget, you can always stay with family or friends who have good air conditioning. Or if you’re lucky enough to have good air conditioning in your home, consider asking a friend or relative who is not as lucky to come cool off at your place.
Active seniors will always enjoy outdoor summer activities, such as picnics, barbecues, and trips to the park and beach. But use caution and follow the guidelines above to help “beat the heat” and enjoy a healthy summer.
For more information on preventing heat stroke, visit the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at www.nyc.gov.
George Hulse is Vice President of External Affairs at Healthfirst. For more tips on leading a healthier lifestyle, visit the Healthfirst Healthy Living website at www.hfhealthyliving.com.