PA Secretary of Aging Urges Older Residents to Take Precautions in Extremely Hot Weather

Jun 22, 2010, 15:02 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Aging

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Aging John Michael Hall today urged older Pennsylvanians to take care during extremely hot weather, which can cause physical problems such as heat stroke or even death.

"Older residents need to be aware that they are susceptible to the dangers of extremely hot weather and need to take precautions to protect themselves," Hall said. "There are things they can do to remain healthy, including drinking fluids and visiting a local senior center or other air-conditioned building. Family and neighbors should check on older adults to make sure they're doing well."

According to medical experts, older people do not adjust as well as young people to changes in temperature. In addition, older people are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that could change how their body responds to heat. They are also more likely to take prescription medicines that could impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature.

During hot conditions, people who feel dizzy, nauseous or have severe muscle cramps should seek medical attention if their condition does not improve.

The Department of Aging offers these suggestions to help older adults stay cool and prevent heat-related illness:

  • Stay indoors if possible and seek shade when outdoors;
  • Schedule outdoor activities at cooler times of the day;
  • Avoid strenuous activities;
  • Visit a senior center, shopping mall, library or other air-conditioned facility;
  • Drink plenty of water or cool, non-alcoholic beverages;
  • Wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing;
  • Wrap a towel around ice cubes and apply to the forehead and nape of neck or keep a damp towel in the freezer to cool off;
  • Take a cool bath or shower.

For more information, visit or call 717 783-1549.  

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Aging