- Health, Wellness & Sports
- Equality Directory
SAN DIEGO -- Although the summertime invokes images of baseball games, grilling and beach-time activities, many in our community are looking for ways and places to stay safe and cool.
As temperatures rise, it is important to make sure that the most vulnerable in our population are safe and healthy. Many older adults have difficulty with heat and can get into physical trouble before they even realize it. They can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke, exhaustion, hyperthermia and even death.
In fact, after the age of 65, the chances of dying from the heat are ten times greater than that of a younger person.
Seniors are encouraged to beat the heat this season, and get out of their hot homes and visit a place with air conditioning. The Gary and Mary West Wellness Center is operated by Senior Community Centers and offers a comfortable, air-conditioned place to escape the summer heat. While at the Gary and Mary West Wellness Center, seniors can cool-off, eat a nutritious meal, and visit the Cyber Café.
The center is also a great way for seniors to meet new people and get the social interaction that is so important for seniors to keep their mind sharp and healthy.
There are many ways you can help seniors avoid heat-related illnesses and stay safe this summer. The National Institute of Aging recommends making daily visits to older relatives and neighbors, especially those with heart-related illnesses. It is important to be on watch for signs of a heat-related illness such as, headaches, confusion, dizziness and nausea.
"Don't forget to wear a large brimmed hat to protect oneself from the sun's rays," said Carolyn Stevens, nurse case manager, Senior Community Centers. "Because walking is a part of many seniors' daily activities, a hat ensures that the head and face is protected from the sun. By wearing a large, brimmed hat one can avoid direct sun exposure, prevent skin-cancer, and have shade while walking or participating in outdoor activities."
Here are a few more tips from the Health and Wellness staff of Senior Community Centers to keep you and your loved ones safe and cool this summer:
* Take cool baths or showers.
* Avoid using the oven.
* Wear light-weight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
* Keep hydrated and drink lots of water. Try to avoid alcohol, soda, or coffee as it can cause dehydration.
* Air-out hot cars before getting into them.
* Avoid the sun during the hottest time of the day.
The Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center is operated by Senior Community Centers and is located at 1525 Fourth Avenue in Downtown San Diego. The center is open seven days a week. For hours and more information, call (619) 235-6572 or visit HERE.
For a list of locations of Cool Zone sites throughout San Diego County, visit HERE or call the County of San Diego's Aging and Independence Services Call Center at (800) 510-2020 and press "6."