Buddy system suggested for elderly during heat wave

Published on Saturday, June 30, 2012

Elderly residents are a high risk for heat related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. According to the American Red Cross, heat has caused more deaths in recent years than all other weather related events.

Craig Dittmar, Executive Director of Greer Community Ministries, said the organization is taking steps to spot needs of the elderly.

“Usually during heat waves like this, we send out a lot of fans to elderly people with no air conditioning. We also help install window units when we have them donated,” said Dittmar.

The Greer Community Ministries Meals on Wheels program sends cool meals to recipients during oppressive heat.

Greta Loughin, Emergency Services Specialist at the Upstate South Carolina chapter of the American Red Cross, suggests the elderly stay indoors and avoid any kind of exercise during the hottest part of the day, noon to mid afternoon. Also helpful, said Loughin, is wearing light colored, loose fitting clothing.

“Elderly folks should use a buddy system. Always have someone to check up on them and see if they are OK,” said Loughin.  

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