Jul 28, 2014

Senior Centers Provide Refuge from Heat

A downtown Pittsburgh senior center has extended hours.

Senior Centers Provide Refuge from Heat

Looking for a place to cool off?

All Allegheny county adults age 60 and older are welcome to visit any of the county-funded senior centers during regular hours of operation (up to eight hours during peak heat times) to socialize and enjoy some activities while taking refuge from the heat.

There's the Plum Senior Center on 499 Center New Texas Rd., the Riverview Community Action Corp. on 501 Second St. or c lick here to find an Allegheny County senior center near you.

Because of the heat, the senior center at the Jewish Community Center will extend its hours June 26 from 8 a.m until 9 p.m. The center is located at 5738 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh 15217

These precautions are recommended for everyone to minimize the risk of heat-related illness:

  • Use the buddy system and check on the elderly and the infirm who do not have air conditioning and are less able to take care of themselves.
  • Never leave a child, or a pet, in a vehicle alone on a hot day. A child may become disoriented in just five minutes, unconscious in 10 minutes and suffer brain-damage in just 20 minutes.
  • Stay cool indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned environment. If you or a friend or neighbor does not have A/C, visit someplace that does, such as a  public librarysenior center, theater or mall.
  • Taking a cool bath or shower is more effective than using a fan to cool off if you don’t have air conditioning. You can also wrap a cool, wet cloth around your neck, moisten your clothing and/or run cool water over your forearms.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, at least eight cups a day, but not alcoholic or caffeinated drinks which actually cause you to lose more fluids. Avoid hot foods and heavy meals, which add heat to your body.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. A wide-brimmed hat provides shade and helps keep the head cool. Sunscreen can prevent sunburn, which can affect your body’s ability to cool itself and also cause a loss of body fluids.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity, particularly during the hotter part of the day.

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