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Health District shares tips for senior citizens to stay cool during heatwave

Posted at 4:54 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 19:59:21-04

TWIN FALLS — The City of Twin Falls and South Central Public Health District have concerns about the senior population and how they plan to fight the high temperatures.

“We’re working with the health district, we’re working with our other partners in the community, such as the hospital," said Joshua Palmer,spokesperson for the City of Twin Falls. "To first identify resources that are available for those residents who maybe need AC, they need a cooler place to go, hydration, things of that nature.”

Heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion and heatstroke, can have serious implications for one's health, and senior citizens are much more vulnerable. To prevent anyone from experiencing it, the health district wants people to be aware of potential symptoms.

The best that thing seniors can do is keep hydrating and stay in an air-conditioned environment. If they do not have immediate access to an AC unit, the health district recommends they try and go to public spaces that can provide that resource, like the senior center.

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“Libraries, government buildings, even grocery stores," said Brianna Bodily, the spokesperson for the South Central Public Health District. "Maybe save your grocery store shopping for the hottest part of the day. Then you can go and get an hour, two hours, even three hours of relief as you do your grocery shopping.”

For seniors who don't have access to an air-conditioner, a means of transportation, or simply want to remain home, there are other ways they can keep cool while in their house.

“Taking a nice cold shower in the middle of the day or filling up your bathtub with ice and enjoying that," said Bodily. "You have to be a little bit careful doing that, especially with ice, so that you don’t damage your skin. So be careful about that.”

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Bodily also recommended eating cold foods like popsicles or ice cream to help lower your body temperature.

With 4th of July weekend, many families will be heading out of the area to enjoy a short vacation. It's important that those families reach out to friends or neighbors to keep an eye on those seniors that don't make the trip.

“Reach out to them, make sure that they have access to air conditioning," said Bodily. "If they don’t, invite them over for a few hours every day. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. You can read books. You don’t even have to talk to each other. Just look out for each other and make sure no one is left alone at this time.”