Seniors particularly vulnerable in extreme heat - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Seniors particularly vulnerable in extreme heat

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Heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the United States, and our senior citizens are particularly vulnerable.

With an excessive heat warning in effect and a stretch of days with temperatures approaching 120 degrees in the forecast, extra measures are in place around the Valley to make sure the elderly stay safe.

At the Heritage Park Senior Facility in Henderson, seniors are finding plenty of ways to beat the heat. Line dancing is one of the more popular activities.

"Hotter than Hades," said senior Donna Robinson of the weather. 

"On a scale of one to 10, I'd say it's a 12," said another senior.

When the heat rolls in, the staff at the center brings out industrial-sized fans. The staff is also looking for signs of fatigue, dehydration and other heat-related illnesses among members.

"Our staff is constantly checking on people, asking them, ‘Did you have your water today? Is there something we can get for you?'" explained Kim Becker with the city of Henderson.

Becker said many seniors are tempted to stay home when it gets this hot, something she said can be risky.

"As people become isolated, they tend not to take care of themselves, not to remember to eat or stay hydrated, and that's scary. They might not feel well and they don't have somebody to alert," she said.

Drivers with the Meals on Wheels program are vigilant in the extreme heat, making sure their recipients are safe and healthy.

Representatives with local senior care company Home Instead Care said that if you are a senior or are caring for one, there are some steps you should take over the coming days.

They recommend keeping a glass of water in every room. You should stay out of the sun during the hottest times of the day. Also, do household chores in the morning or in the evening.

If you don't have an air conditioner or if yours is broken, get out of the house during the day. Consider spending the afternoon at a mall or some other location with air conditioning.

Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcast Corporation). All rights reserved.

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