For many people, hot summer days are the best time of year but for older adults, summer months can be extremely dangerous. Medical studies show that people 65 years or older are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature due to health conditions and medications. CASI’s Senior Advocacy Department asks friends, family, and neighbors to check on older adults more frequently during extreme heat.
It’s important to check in on older adults daily and ask the following questions.
• Are you drinking enough water? They should not wait until they’re thirsty to drink.
• Do you have access to air conditioning?
• Do you know how to keep cool?
• Are you able to stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible?
When checking on them, make sure that they are not doing the following:
• Relying on a fan as their primary cooling device during an extreme heat event.
• Drinking more water than usual and not waiting until they are thirsty to drink.
• Continually using the stove or oven to cook. This will make the individual and their house hotter.
Encourage older adults to do the following if they are hot:
• Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
• Take cool showers or baths to lower their body temperature.
• Check the local news frequently for health and safety updates.
• Seek medical care immediately if they have symptoms of heat-related illness like muscle cramps, headaches, nausea or vomiting.
CASI is accepting brand-new 20 inch box style fans for its summer “Be A Fan to Seniors Program”. CASI distributes approximately 150 fans during the summer months. Donations can be made online here or in person or by mail to CASI, 1035 W. Kimberly Road, Davenport, IA 52806.
For more information about summer heat relief or on how to get a free fan, call CASI’s Senior Advocacy Department, at 563-386-7477.