Senior Center News: July 7

Heat safety

Don't let the sun get you down!

People of all ages can be affected by the heat and should take precautions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in a 24-year period more than 8,000 people died in the United States from heat-related illness. This is more than those killed in the combination of hurricanes, lightning, floods, tornadoes and earthquakes in the same time period. People over the age of 65 years are more prone to heat-related illness than younger people for several reasons:

  • The older body takes longer to adjust to sudden temperature changes.

  • Chronic medical changes alter the normal body response to heat.

  • Medications can impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or inhibit perspiration.

  • The elderly sometimes don't feel thirsty. They drink less to avoid having to go to the bathroom frequently.

In order to prevent heat-related illness:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of cool, nonalcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages each day. Drink more if you are out in the hot weather. If you are taking diuretics, such as Lasix for edema or heart conditions, check with your doctor on how much water you should drink.

  • Eat light, small, frequent meals. Avoid heavy meals and foods hard to digest. Enjoy the fruits of the season.

  • Avoid strenuous activities. Break big tasks into smaller ones and do them over a longer period of time. Rest between activities.

  • Avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

  • Wear a large-brimmed hat and sunscreen (SPF 15 or greater) when outside.

  • Wear sunglasses to protect against UV rays

  • Take a cool shower, tub or sponge bath.

  • Wear light-colored clothing made of linen or cotton. Dress in layers.

  • Use air conditioning. Point the vent up toward the ceiling so the cool air does not blow directly on you. Use an oscillating fan to distribute the cool air.

  • Check on neighbors, friends, and family at least twice a day. Encourage them to drink fluids and stay cool. If you note any of the symptoms below, try to get the person to rest in a cool shady place, loosen clothing, and apply cool compresses while you wait for medical assistance. Call their doctor or visiting nurse. Call 911 if they are not responding to cooling measures.

Signs of heat stroke include change in behavior; body temp of 103 degrees or more; red, hot, or dry skin; no perspiration; rapid pounding pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.

Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating; paleness; muscle cramps; fatigue; weakness; dizziness; headache; nausea, vomiting, or fainting. Skin may be cool or moist; pulse may be fast and weak; breathing may be fast and shallow.

This information was supplied by Melody Matheny-Orpen, RN BSN, Community Health Coordinator, Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, 203-762-8958, ext. 312.

Walk-in screenings

Starting Monday, July 11, RVNA is holding weekly walk-in biometric health screenings on Mondays from 11 to 1 at its new offices at 27 Governor Street, Ridgefield.  Cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose tests will be available and include a private consultation with a registered nurse. The fees are $25 for one test, $50 for two, and $65 for all three. If this is not a convenient time, appointments can be made by calling 203-438-5555.

Coming events

For the week of July 8:

Friday, July 8, 12, Bridge with Eleanor Mihailidis; 1:30, Bridge with Sharon Frost.

Monday, July 11, 10:30, Line Dance Fusion with Beatriz Araujo; 11-1, Walk-in Biometric Screenings at Ridgefield VNA; 12, Movie; 1, Encore Bridge.

Tuesday, July 12, 9:45, BeMoved with Phyllis Hirschfield; 11, Yoga with Denise O’Hearn; 1, Studio Knitting with Lizabeth Doty; 2, Mah Jongg with Kay Chann.

Wednesday, July 13, 10, Open Bridge with Dan DeVlieg; 10:30, Tai Chi with Joe Alampi; 1, Mah Jongg.

Thursday, July 14, 10, Yoga with Denise O’Hearn; 12:30-2, Blood Pressure Screening by Visiting Nurse and Hospice at Village Market; 12, Lunch, 12:45, Bingo.