Older people are especially at risk from heat related health problems such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion. With the heat wave we are currently experiencing, now is not the time to do chores, run errands or weed your garden.
"Heat can be miserable for all ages, but potentially life threatening for older persons," according to Elinor Ginzler, AARP Director for Livable Communities.
Here are 10 tips for dealing with the heat wave:
- Relax and put off chores and any strenuous activity.
- Stay indoors during the hottest times of the day.
- Close your shades to keep out the sunshine.
- If you do not have air conditioning, stay on the lower-level in your home—heat rises.
- Check with your local agency for cool places you can go such as libraries and public buildings, or a mall with air conditioning.
- Wear light-weight, loose fitting clothing and protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses or use an umbrella.
- Drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty. This helps keep your body cool.
- Avoid alcohol or caffeinated beverages.
- If you have a chronic medical condition, talk with your doctor about additional precautions you should take to prevent heat related illness. Some conditions and medications may place you at higher risk.
- Neighbors, friends or family should check in on older people in their homes to make sure they are not suffering from the heat.
AARP’s issue expert, Elinor Ginzler, is available to discuss these tips and other ways to help seniors beat the heat. To arrange an interview please contact Nancy Wood at 202-434-2583.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.