North Central News

Helping seniors weather the heat

With summer’s hot temperatures still weeks away from dropping, efforts continue to assist those who are among the most susceptible to its dangers: senior citizens.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 40 percent of heat-related deaths occur in those 65 and older. And according to the US Census, more than 1 of every 12 Phoenix residents is a senior, making the summer heat especially risky for the 65 and older population.

Getting ready to head out into the community with their “cool” gifts are, from left: Nina Louis, Skilled Nursing Facility administrator; John Wenzlau, executive director; and Donna Anderson, Community Relations director, of Emeritus Senior Living’s Chris Ridge facility (submitted photo).

Getting ready to head out into the community with their “cool” gifts are, from left: Nina Louis, Skilled Nursing Facility administrator; John Wenzlau, executive director; and Donna Anderson, Community Relations director, of Emeritus Senior Living’s Chris Ridge facility (submitted photo).

Chris Ridge, 6250 N. 19th Ave., has deployed its Shade Brigade to help local seniors weather the high temperatures in coming weeks. Chris Ridge is part of Emeritus Senior Living, and is one of largest continuing care communities in the Greater Phoenix area.

The Shade Brigade, comprised of Emeritus staff, will fan out to seniors’ homes to bring coolers filled with water, popsicles, fruit and juice. The team also will check on the seniors’ wellbeing, provide heat-related safety tips and invite the seniors to Chris Ridge for a free meal and time to cool off in the air conditioning.

To suggest a senior for a visit by the Shade Brigade, contact Chris Ridge at 602-433-6300 or by e-mail at: ChrisRidge-ED@emeritus.com.

A study shows the elderly often ignore heat warnings because they don’t think of themselves as “older.”

That’s why Visiting Angels, one of the nation’s largest in-home senior care companies with an office in the Phoenix area, advises families to protect their aging relatives by assembling Senior Summer Safety Kits. These kits include vital, yet inexpensive tools to make sure elderly loved ones have the protection they need to stay safe during hot summer days—especially when family members aren’t around.

Seniors often don’t realize their bodies can’t handle heat like they used to so they fail to take extra precautions, according to Visiting Angels CEO Larry Meigs. Seniors also can dry out because their body water content decreases and medications can dehydrate them, he adds.

A Summer Safety Kit should include a reusable water bottle to maintain hydration; copies of all prescriptions and health insurance cards; phone numbers of health care providers and information concerning chronic health problems; and an ID bracelet with personal information and emergency contact numbers.

Other key items to add to the kit are a broad-spectrum sunscreen, at least SPF 30, to prevent serious burns, misting fans that require no electricity in case of a power outage, and a pre-paid cell phone for seniors to use in an emergency.

For more information, visit www.visitingangels.com.

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