Beat the heat: Local center helping seniors stay cool|[06/15/08]

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 15, 2008

Making sure senior citizens stay cool when the mercury rises this summer is a topic upon which Jennifer Harper, director of Vicksburg Senior Center, wants to shed some light.

Each year as the summer heat approaches, she said, the center invites health professionals from River Region Medical Center to speak about the risks of heat exposure.

“It’s a health-related program people need about staying hydrated and the warning signs of heat exhaustion,” Harper said.

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This year’s program is slated for noon July 18 at the senior center at South and Walnut streets. The program will be a brown bag luncheon and will, hopefully, re-educate people in the community about the importance of staying cool.

“It’s extremely important because with the cost of trying to keep your house or apartment cool, people will neglect themselves,” she said. “People will try to save a dollar by not keeping their homes cool. They don’t realize how important it is to stay hydrated.”

If you goA program on how to avoid the heat will be at noon July 18 at the Vicksburg Senior Center, South and Walnut streets. Participants are asked to bring a brown bag lunch. Call 601-630-8059.Tips for staying cool this summer from

Relax and put off chores and any strenuous activity.

Stay indoors during the hottest times of the day.

Close shades to keep out the sun.

Heat rises, so stay on the lower level of a home without air conditioning.

Check with local agencies for cool places to go, such as libraries and public buildings or a mall with air conditioning.

Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing, a hat and sunglasses or an umbrella for protection from the sun.

Drink plenty of water regardless of thirst to help cool the body.

Avoid alcohol and beverages with caffeine.

People with chronic medical conditions should talk to doctors about additional precautions that should be taken to prevent heat-related illness. Some conditions and medications may place people at higher risk.