The National Weather Service recently issued an excessive heat warning for the Los Angeles and Ventura counties that is in effect through Friday evening. Temperatures could even reach 115 in the Santa Clarita Valley.
While everyone deals with the heat as best they can, senior citizens are advised to take extra precaution due to their vulnerability to passing out.
Robin Clough, Director of Volunteers and Recreation at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, urges seniors to keep hydrated above all.
“They don’t realize they’re becoming dehydrated and that can seriously affect their health. Even if they’re not thirsty, seniors need to be continuously drinking.”
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Clough suggests consuming liquids with electrolytes such as Gatorade and avoiding anything with caffeine, which leads to dehydration.
As temperatures reach unbearable heights, air conditioners are used with more frequency. While many will abstain from turning them on as a cost-saving strategy, seniors should use them without restraint.
If seniors don’t have air conditioning in their homes, Clough advises attending a cooling center close to their home.
Cooling centers are just that – air-conditioned places where the sole purpose is to keep occupants cool and hydrated.
“We have activities and books to read,” says Clough of the Senior Center’s cooling station. “It’s just a place for seniors to come and make sure they don’t overheat. Really, they should just stay indoors at all costs.”
Santa Clarita’s other prominent cooling center is at the Valencia Library, which is open every day.
In case seniors need someone to check on them during this taxing heat wave, she asks them to participate in their Phone Reassurance Program. In the program, Senior Center staff members simply call participants to make sure everything is fine with their health.
Call the Senior Center at 661-259-9444 for more information.