Seniors stay cool during extreme heat

PHILADELPHIA - July 15, 2013

75-year-old Jerome Hirsch knows at his age and with his health problems he has to be especially careful in this excessive heat.

So he and many other seniors stay cool inside the Mercy LIFE Senior Day program.

Mildred Spinks doesn't have air condition at home so spending time here during the day is vital.

"It's beautiful, wonderful in here. I love it here," Spinks said.

Dr. Donna Raziano, Mercy LIFE Medical Director and Mercy Health System Associate Chief Medical Officer, says the elderly don't sense heat or the feeling of thirst like they used to.

"So they can become quite dehydrated, not even knowing that they're thirsty," Raziano said.

So at Mercy LIFE, they encourage everyone to drink extra fluids.

Water or drinks without alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar are best.

Even as they boarded vans to go home, the seniors were sent home with extra water for the night.

Older adults who live alone without air condition are the most at risk. That's why it is critical that we all check in on our neighbors as the temperature continues to soar.

"That's the key this week, this could be deadly. That's the real message, that this is not something to take lightly. You need to stay out of the heat, stay out of the sun," Raziano said.

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