2003-08-29 / Community

City To Seniors: Stay Cool At Home

City To Seniors: Stay Cool At Home

The New York City Department for the Aging has noted that temperatures that rise well into the 90’s with increased humidity create conditions that can be particularly dangerous for older New Yorkers, such as those who have medical conditions or take medications.

Hot weather can cause the body to sweat too much, or not enough, leading to heat stress. Symptoms of heat stress include nausea, dizziness, weakness, muscle cramps, pale and clammy skin, disorientation or headache. If you begin to experience these symptoms please call your doctor or 911 immediately.

"It’s important that seniors stay cool, and observe medical recommendations on how to avoid heat stress. I also want to remind New Yorkers to check on elderly relatives, friends and neighbors to make sure that they are coping successfully with the heat, are following medical recommendations and know about public cooling centers," urged Department for the Aging Commissioner Edwin Mendez Santiago.

The Department suggests the following recommendations to beat the heat:

1. Avoid the sun, exertion, and strenuous activity.

2. Drink plenty of water or diluted fruit juices, avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages.

3. Keep the room well ventilated through the use of a fan or air conditioner, or open windows, but draw the blinds to block the sun’s direct rays.

4. Avoid midday heat.

5. Wear lightweights, light colored, loose fitting clothing, and wear sunscreen and a hat when outdoors.

6. Rest in an air-conditioned area. The City of New York has established cooling centers, public areas where you can stay cool during the day. During a declared heat emergency call 3-1-1 to find out where the coolest center to you is located.

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