Spring bypassed Kentucky this year, taking us straight into summer. With the higher temperatures, older adults, particularly those with chronic health conditions, should take precautions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people die each year from “heat waves” than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. Family members, friends and neighbors should keep an eye on the seniors in their lives, who can be especially vulnerable. Following a few simple steps can ensure you and your loved ones stay safe during summer heat waves.
- Avoid strenuous activities. Manual labor, especially in the afternoon, can easily cause heat exhaustion. Do your yard work in the morning or evening to avoid the intense heat of the afternoon.
- Monitor your medications. Ask your healthcare provider if the medications you take put you at risk when exposed to excessive heat. There may be alternative medications or methods for coping with these conditions.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is the easiest and most effective way to avoid heat-related illnesses. According to the Mayo Clinic, men should drink 15.5 cups of water daily, and women should drink 11.5.
- Use air conditioning units and fans. Often, older adults live in older houses and buildings that don’t have an efficient air conditioning system. A portable AC unit or oscillating fan can significantly cool down a room.
If you are a resident of Jefferson, Oldham, Henry, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble or Bullitt counties, and are 60 years of age or older, you are entitled to a free electric fan. Fan Fair will take place on June 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Edison Center, 701 West Ormsby Avenue in Old Louisville. The event is sponsored by Louisville Metro Office for Aging and Disabled Citizens and KIPDA Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living. Click here to learn more about Fan Fair and the qualifications.
With a few precautions, beating the heat can be a breeze.