June 1, 2021

Summer Heat and Older Adults – What You Should Know

By Kathy Malmloff
CASI Director of Senior Services
Kmalmloff@casiseniors.org

With the first day of summer fast approaching, our thoughts turn to fun in the sun with family and friends. For most people, these hot and steamy days are the best time of year but for older adults the summer months can be
extremely dangerous. Medical studies show that people 65 years or older are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature due to health conditions and medications. This is why it’s important to check in on older adults daily and ask the following questions.

  • Are you drinking enough water?
  • Do you have access to air conditioning?
  • Do you know how to keep cool?
  • Are you able to stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible?

When checking on older family members and neighbors, make sure that they are not doing the following:

  • Relying on a fan as their primary cooling device during an extreme heat event.
  • Drink more water than usual and waiting until they are thirsty to drink.
  • Continually using the stove or oven to cook—it will make the individual and their house hotter.

 

Encourage older adults to do the following if they are hot:

  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates.
  • Seek medical care immediately if you have, or someone you know has, symptoms of heat-related illness like
    muscle cramps, headaches, nausea or vomiting.

CASI is a designated cooling station for older adults who need heat relief. The facility is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and offers a cool place to relax, socialize and get a nutritious meal. CASI can also provide free fans to older adults who are seeking temporary relief from the heat. For more information about summer heat relief or on how to get a free fan, call CASI’s Senior Advocacy Department, at 563-386-7477.

CASI is also accepting brand-new 20” box style fans for its summer heat relief program. The organization hands out approximately 150 fans during the summer months. Donations can be made in person or monetarily online at CASISeniors.org or by mail to CASI, 1035 W. Kimberly Road, Davenport, IA 52806.