Summer returns this weekend, and brings with it the built-in threats of hot weather to older residents. The Council on Aging of West Florida is seeking donations to help clients stay cool.
Those donations can take the form of new fans and air conditioners for seniors’ homes. Council Vice President Jeff Nall is hoping this call will equal or better those from previous summers. Nall asks those wishing to provide such equipment to follow a few simple ground rules, such as not offering used fans and A/C units – new equipment only.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people die from excessive heat each year than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined. For younger people, high temperatures are an inconvenience and uncomfortable. But as people age, they become more susceptible to heat-related complications.
Other problems related to high temps and humidity include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and the most serious, heat stroke. One of the first clues that something is wrong is when the body stops sweating.
Get the victim out of the sun; loosen their clothing, give water, apply cool, wet cloths and move them to a cooler area. If symptoms persist, seek immediate medical attention. Hahn urges residents of all ages to keep abreast of weather conditions and stay indoors as much as possible.
Others needing special protection from the heat are infants and young children; people age 65 and up, and those with physical ailments -- especially heart disease or high blood pressure.
It’s also a good idea to check in with older friends and relatives, especially those who may be affected by the hot weather.
Donations of fans and air conditioners can be dropped off at the Council on Aging Office at 875 Royce Street in Pensacola. More information is available by calling 266-2513 or online at coawfla.org.