Seniors still at risk in summer heat

Aug 9, 2013

This year marked the hottest July on record for Salt Lake City, and other cities around Utah have seen continuous days of above 100 degree temperatures. For many around the state, the recent break in temperatures has been seen as a relief; but for some seniors, the heat continues to pose a threat.

Sun shining.
Utah has seen record temperatures this summer.
Credit © Jimboudreaux | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

As people age, their bodies become less able to cope with high heat—putting them at increased risk for heat stroke and even death.

For seniors who are able to get out of the house, Kristine Johnson, the director of the Cache County Senior Center, suggests going somewhere with air conditioning. The Logan based senior center offers free activities for people over 60, including line dancing, Tai Chi and pickle ball each weekday in their air-conditioned building.

“There’s just a wide variety of activities to do inside that will keep them physically fit…and it will be a cool place for them,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that for seniors who can not get out of the home, making sure that they stay cool and have enough water is important.

“I think one thing is just to drink a lot of water. Make water available and if they don’t like water put lemon in it or even put some of those flavored drink mixes in it, but keep them hydrated,” Johnson explained.

The “Visiting Angels” in-home senior care program also suggests making a summer safety kit that includes: a reusable water bottle, a misting fan for in case of a power outage, and a pre-paid cell phone.