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Soaring Temps Put Older Illinoisans at Risk

AARP Provides Quick Tips to Beat the Heat - Reminds People to Check in on Elderly Friends and Neighbors

CHICAGO, July 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With recent temperatures climbing well above 90 degrees, AARP is reminding individuals to check in on elderly family members, friends, and neighbors who may be at particular risk of heat-related health problems such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 384 people die from heat each year, more than deaths caused by floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined. Of the 525 heat related deaths in Chicago in the July 1995 heat wave, 73% were elderly.

"It's important that people watch out for each other when the temperatures start to climb and take precautions to ensure that elderly friends and neighbors have a cool place to seek shelter," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director. "By checking in on those who are most at risk in our communities, we can all help to prevent unnecessary deaths."

AARP has several quick tips for preventing a heat-related emergency:

  • Do not engage in strenuous activity.
  • Stay indoors during the hottest times of the day.
  • Close your shades to keep out the sunshine.
  • If you do not have air conditioning, stay on the lower-level in your home -- heat rises.
  • Check with your local agency for cool places you can go, such as libraries, public buildings, or air-conditioned malls.
  • Wear light-weight, loose fitting clothing and protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat and sunglasses or using an umbrella.
  • Drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty. This helps keep your body cool.

To help spread the word on important community issues, AARP has recently launched Create the Good, an initiative aimed at connecting people with opportunities to serve in their local communities. Visit to search for volunteer opportunities, post an opportunity, or download one of the "How-To" guides to learn quick and easy ways to launch a service effort in your community.


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