The summer heat can be dangerous, especially for seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 658 people die annually from extreme heat.
Here are some tips from the CDC on preventing heat-related illness among older adults during times of extreme heat.
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, contact your local health department or locate an air-conditioned shelter in your area.
- Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling source when it’s really hot outside.
- Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- If your doctor limits the amount of fluids you drink or has you on water pills, ask them how much you should drink during hot weather.
- Don’t use the stove or oven to cook—it will make you and your house hotter.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
- Do not engage in very strenuous activities and get plenty of rest.
- Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation is helping senior adults cope with the heat by offering free fans at Park and Recreation Centers and senior centers.
Seniors, age 60 and older, can pick up free fans while supplies last. Please bring a state ID showing your age and proof of current Mecklenburg County address. One fan per senior, while supplies last.
Free fans are also available to those ages 18 to 59 who receive disability income.
The fans are provided through a grant from Duke Energy.
Following is a list of recreation and senior centers and the CATS bus route they are on. I’d suggest calling ahead of time and making sure that they have fans.