The 100 degree heat wave may have passed – for now – but the high heat remains dangerous, especially for older citizens.
The Alabama Department of Senior Services is encouraging seniors and their caregivers to take necessary precautions.
Below are some safety tips that you may find helpful in preparing to battle the heat. This would be a good time to check on your elderly neighbors, friends and family.
Some senior centers will be staying open additional hours to provide a place to stay cool. The Scottsboro and Jackson County Senior centers are open weekdays except holidays from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and the Jackson County Center is also open until 6 p.m. on Monday and Thursday. If any senior needs a cool place to spend the hottest part of the day this facility is available.
HOT WEATHER SAFETY TIPS FOR SENIORS
• Stay inside in an air conditioned facility as much as possible.
• Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day.
• Some medications and health conditions can cause inability to tolerate heat. Discuss these with your doctor.
• Call your friends and check on them and have a friend or loved one check on you. Identify an out-of-town contact to call in case it is too difficult to call someone in-town.
• Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
• Keep a list of emergency phone numbers next to your phone.
• Stay hydrated.
• Have an Extreme Heat Plan in place.
SIGNS OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY
Signs of Heat Exhaustion
• Cool, moist or pale skin
• Heavy sweating
• Nausea or vomiting
Signs of Heat Stroke
• Hot, red skin
• Changes in consciousness
• Rapid, weak pulse
• Rapid, shallow breathing
• High body temperature
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY
• Heat stroke: If you think someone is having a heat stroke help is needed fast. Call 9-1-1. Move the person to a cooler place and try to cool the body by a cool bath, wrapping wet sheets around them or fan them until help arrives. Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation.
• Heat cramps: Get to a cooler place and rest in a comfortable position. Lightly stretch the affected muscle and replenish fluids. Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. (Do not give liquids with alcohol or caffeine in them, as they can cause further dehydration, making conditions worse.)
• Heat exhaustion: Get out of the heat and into a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets. If the person is conscious, give cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes.