Senior Citizens Among the Most Vulnerable in the Heat

By: David Coy Email
By: David Coy Email

HARRISONBURG -- Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable to the high temperatures we've seen in the Valley this week. One retirement community said the best way to beat the heat is to stay indoors.

Phyllis Cowger has lived at the Emeritus Senior Living for more than a year. She said when it's hot, she barely goes outside.

"In here we try to go out earlier in the morning and when it's hot out like today and I went outside for a good while. It was a very nice afternoon to sit still," said Cowger.

Cowger is just one of many battling the heat. She says when she gets up, she flicks a switch.

"I turn my air conditioner on when I go out and when I go back I turn my fan on and it works fine for me like that," said Cowger.

No matter what age, it's always a great idea to carry a water bottle around with you. Make sure to fill it up many times during the day. Because if you're already thirsty, you're already dehydrated.

Matthew Walker works for Emeritus. He said getting sick from too much sun can creep up on you.

"Don't stay in direct sunlight for too long. If you feel yourself getting hotter or dizzy, definitely seek shade or air conditioning if possible. Even if you don't have air conditioning I would suggest sitting in front of a fan it's better than nothing," said Walker.

Cowger said when she's staying cool, she makes sure the AC is just right.

"It's very low, very low. When it gets cold and all the furniture gets cold I figure it's enough," laughed Walker.

If you are 70-years-old or older and don't have an AC or can't get to the store, you can contact Emeritus. They will bring you a reusable 'Shade Brigade Bags'. It has water bottles, popsicles and even more tips on how to stay cool. The number for Emeritus is 540-574-2982.

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