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Council On Aging Shares Hot Weather Tips

Photo via Flickr// John Lillis

With summer heating up, the number of senior residents needing help to stay cool and safe are going up.

Joe Maniscalco at the National Weather Service in Mobile says a current trough of low pressure over Louisiana that’s keeping temperatures around normal for this time of year will give way to an upper ridge of high pressure approaching from the Atlantic in the next few days. As the ridge builds, the central Gulf Coast will also see a rise in temperatures.

“What we’re expecting as we move late into the weekend and the first of next week is temperatures rising into the lower 90s on average,” said Maniscalco. “And we may begin to start to see some heat indices creeping up just slightly above the century mark.”

The Council on Aging for Northwest Florida has collected about two dozen air conditioners and fans from donors, and are now in the process of handing them out.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults’ bodies have a tougher time regulating temperature. Rachel Cox at the Council on Aging says even more so are those who are dealing with chronic health problems.

“Especially if they’re taking a prescription medication,” Cox said. “They need to be kept out of extreme heat, and just being aware of some of those warning signs of heat exhaustion and potential heat stroke.”

Those symptoms include: dizziness, fainting, muscle cramps, headaches, nausea or vomiting.

Seniors – along with everyone else, for that matter – should take a number of steps to protect against hot weather: stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible; wear light, loose-fitting clothing, drink plenty of water, and take cool showers or baths.

Cox says it’s also a good idea to check in with older neighbors, friends, and relatives.

“We have made a concerted effort, especially with our clients through the Meals on Wheels program and some of our other programs,” said Cox. “Some of the ‘Cool Tips’ for beating the heat is what we’re calling it. We’re sending out that information via our volunteers.”

The Council on Aging also has about 20 senior dining sites in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, where residents age 60 and older can go for lunch and activities.

Anyone wishing to donate either an AC unit or fan – brand new with a standard cord, remember -- or give cash can call the Council on Aging at 432-1475, or drop them off at the Council’s office at 875 Royce Street in Pensacola.