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July 13, 2010 > Record heat has local families making 'summer survival kits' for seniors

Record heat has local families making 'summer survival kits' for seniors

Submitted By Jon Weiner

For most of us, record summer heat means higher cooling bills and more time at the pool - but for local seniors living on their own, the consequences are far more serious. The National Climactic Data Center reports the Northeast had its warmest March, April and May in history. A stagnant June heat wave brought records for both high temperatures and total days above 90 degrees for a third of the country, stretching from Missouri to New York to the Southeast. The summer heat is already taking its toll, and this is just the start of the season.

That's why the local senior care experts from Senior Helpers, the nation's fastest growing in-home senior care provider, are advising families to protect aging relatives by putting together a simple Senior Summer Survival Kit. These kits are an easy, inexpensive way to make sure elderly loved ones have what they need to stay safe and comfortable during hot summer days - especially when family members may be off on vacation.

"Whether seniors are traveling themselves or staying on their own while the rest of the family is out of town, it's absolutely vital that aging family members have the resources to be safe, happy and healthy," says Peter Ross, CEO and co-founder of Senior Helpers. "Seniors are far more susceptible to health problems related to summer heat than any other demographic. Taking the time to prepare one of these kits to make sure loved ones have the essentials they need can make all the difference in preventing a serious situation."

Quick Facts - Why is Heat Dangerous for Seniors?
* The amount of water retained by the body decreases substantially with age.
* As a result, seniors are at far greater risk of heat-related health problems such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, severe sunburn and dehydration.
* Over 8,000 Americans have died as a result of heat-related afflictions during the past two decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What's in the 'Senior Summer Survival Kit?'
* 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
* Sunscreen, at least SPF 30, to prevent serious burns
* Multivitamins to keep the immune systems strong
* Battery operated/hand-held fan in case of power outages and extreme heat

The Senior Summer Survival Kit can be easily purchased and assembled for under $25 in less than 15 minutes.

"Most heat-related issues for seniors can be avoided through simple planning and precaution," Ross says. "When it's unbearably hot outside for you and your kids, it's downright dangerous for seniors. Take a few minutes and make sure that mom, dad and any other senior family members have everything they need to be safe this summer. A few minutes of planning and a quick trip to the drug store can make all the difference."

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