SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Soaring Heat Puts Older Illinoisans At Risk

AARP Provides Quick Tips to Beat the Heat - Reminds People to Check in on Elderly Friends and Neighbors

CHICAGO, Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With temperatures climbing above 90 degrees today across the state and heat indexes into triple digits, AARP is reminding Illinoisans to check in on elderly relatives, friends, and neighbors who may be at particular risk of heat-related health problems such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), extreme heat causes an average of 658 deaths every year in the United States.  Across the nation, heat-related deaths occur more frequently among males and those ages 65 and older.  A 2012 CDC study of heat-related deaths over a 2-week period found that 69% of heat-related deaths occurred at home, and 91% of those homes lacked air conditioning. 

AARP has several quick tips for preventing a heat-related emergency:  

  • Do not engage in strenuous activity.
  • Stay indoors during the hottest times of the day.
  • Close your shades to keep out the sunshine.
  • If you do not have air conditioning, stay on the lower-level in your home --heat rises.
  • Check with your local agency for cool places you can go, such as libraries, public buildings, or air-conditioned malls.
  • Wear light-weight, loose fitting clothing and protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat and sunglasses or using an umbrella.
  • Drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty. This helps keep your body cool.

You can also work with your friends and neighbors to check on elderly neighbors – go to AARP's Create The Good program (http://createthegood.org) to find specific resources and toolkits for your local area.

SOURCE AARP Illinois

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