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Elders Vulnerable in Summer Heat

With scorching summer temperatures, the most vulnerable are at risk, including Tri-State seniors.

High heat and humidity causes more than just sweat filled days. As temperatures top out, it can be harmful for elders.

That’s why organizations are taking special steps to keep them safe.

“We always have a good time, we always try to keep cool which is better for senior people,” explained Owensboro senior William Alfred Knight.

At the Munday Senior Center in Owensboro, Knight may know from personal experience—

“We get in the pool at home which is nice too. Sometimes we stay in the house. Then again, I get my motorcycle out and I ride my motorcycle,” he added.

But it’s backed up by medical science.

“Lots of other medications predispose us because our body cant respond as it should. Older people tend to not eat as much. You can get 70 percent of your fluid intake from your food,” cited Dr. Lori Fuqua with St. Vincent Urgent Care.

The effects of aging make the golden years ones where particular care needs to be taken.

“Your body starts to shut down. You stop sweating. You might start being a little bit more confused. Lethargic. Not thinking clearly,” Dr. Fuqua listed.

But failing to recognize the signs and symptoms can even be dangerous, or even deadly.

In Florida after Hurricane Irma, seniors were evacuated from a nursing home after losing power. The move followed the deaths of eight patients at another facility without air conditioning from the storm.

Fortunately, in Owensboro and across the Tri-State, caring community members are here to help.

“We’re avaliable as a cooling center in the summer. We have opportunity for people to come in, hydrate if they need to, cool off if they need to,” said Dana Peveler with the Senior Community Center of Owensboro-Daviess County

The center offers not only offering a cool place to play, but counseling as well.

“Maybe not cooking on the stove, there’s a lot of women out there who will be tickeled to hear that,” Pevler laughed. “It’s ok as an older type of adult to eat a popsicle.

They also make sure everyone can enjoy the offerings in the air conditioning.

“We have vans that run from about 7:30 to 3 in the afternoon,” Pevler said.

And there, they can make friends to help keep an eye.

“The buddy system, if you have friends that can check in on you,” she added.

If you have a loved one—especially one who lives alone there is help available.

Some of those resources are available here.

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