Beating the Heat and Humidity

Because heat and humidity can be physically stressful and dangerous to older people, the Waynesboro Senior Center will kick off July with an awareness program Monday, July 1st at 12:30 p.m.

There are two major heat-related illnesses to watch out for: Heat stroke and heat exhaustion.  The program will address symptoms and treatments for each and offer tips for reducing your chances of getting sick from the heat.

One major concern is lack of hydration, which can lead to hyperthermia.  Older people are urged to drink plenty of fluids each day, and to avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Everyone is urged to keep an eye on friends and neighbors and to call for immediate medical assistance if you feel someone is experiencing symptoms.

Tips for Keeping Cool

 Bathe & shower around 75° to provide relief from the heat. Cool water removes heat 25 times faster than cool air.

 Wear lightweight, light colored clothing. Don’t forget a hat or umbrella to protect your head.

 Drink lots of water.

 Slow down and take it easy. Go outside in the morning or evening when it’s cooler.

 Eat small light meals and eat often. Avoid using the stove and eat cool foods like salads, Jello and popsicles.

 Check with your doctor about medication. Some can make a person more vulnerable to heat.

The Fan Care program will continue at the center as long as we have fans to distribute to eligible participants.

Fan Care is run by the Virginia Department for the Aging and Rehabilitative Services and Dominion Virginia Power.  If you are an older person whose health is threatened by a lack of air conditioning, and whose income is at or less than $1,436 for a single person or $1,939 for a two person household, you can apply at the Center to receive a fan. Home owners may apply for an air conditioner.

If your home is not air conditioned, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.  Keep your windows open and use electric fans.  Fans do not cool the air, but they evaporate perspiration, which helps cool your body.  Try to spend at least 2 hours mid-day in an air conditioned building, like the Senior Center!

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