Extreme heat more dangerous for elderly

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the hot June sun continues to beat down on the valley a certain group of people find themselves more at risk than others. Linda Descoteaux works with the Fresno-Madera Agency on Aging, they provide meals, legal help and connect seniors with resources. She said seniors need to be careful.

"Older adults and this includes myself are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses and if you add air quality to the mix it compounds the risk," said Descoteaux.

When temperatures get really hot they call their clients, advising them of the dangerous and how to stay safe. Of course, keeping hydrated and out of the suns reach is key, but there are also other things they can do.

"Wearing loose-fitting clothing, that is light maybe taking sponge baths to keep your temperature down," she said. "Also it is important to call somebody and let them know how you are doing."

Income also plays a big role in how the elderly cool off. Since money can be tight, Descoteaux said some don't have enough for those pricey electricity bills.

"If you're unable to turn on your air conditioner all day turn it on in the morning when it's cool, get your house cooled down and keep those drapes closed," she said.

If you can't get relief at home, you can look elsewhere. Cooling Centers open in many Valley communities during times of excessive heat, the Mall and library also provide good alternatives. For those who can't travel, free transportation in Fresno can also be available via FAX. If you need help connecting to your local resources you can call the Agency on Aging at 600-4405
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