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2008-07-30 / Family

Hot weather advisory for older adults

Senior Connections, The Capital Area Agency on Aging, is encouraging people to take time to check on the well-being of older family members, friends and neighbors, especially those living alone, to ensure their comfort and safety during hot, humid weather.

Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures, low fluid intake, certain medications and some chronic illnesses may increase the risks of dehydration and heat exhaustion, especially among older adults. Senior Connections offers the following tips to help older adults cope with the heat:

• Drink plenty of water to control body temperature and prevent dehydration. Do not wait until you feel thirsty.

• Limit outdoor activities. If you must go outside, wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing, which will allow your skin to keep cool.

• To avoid becoming overheated inside, increase the ventilation in your home by placing a fan in a window or installing an air conditioner.

Senior Connections provides cooling assistance through the Fan Care program, which provides free fans to eligible seniors. Applicants must be at least 60 years old and meet an income-eligibility requirement. To apply, call the Fan Care Hotline at 343-3005. Leave your name, address and phone number, and a Fan Care representative will return your call. The program, co-sponsored by Dominion Virginia Power, the Virginia Department for the Aging and Senior Connections, will end on Sept. 30.

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