Where seniors can go to beat the heat
With temperatures expected to reach 100 degrees later this week, four cooling centers will open in Multnomah County to help seniors and people with disabilities and other health conditions stay safe.
The four centers will be open Wednesday through Friday, Aug. 15-17.
“Heat affects everyone, but older adults and people with disabilities are particularly at risk,’’ said Paul Iarrobino, Multnomah County’s Aging and Disability Services program supervisor. “Our community has come together to help.”
The cooling centers are:
- Loaves & Fishes Centers, Elm Court, 1032 S.W. Main, Portland. (503-953-8204)
- Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 N.E. 40th Ave., Portland (503-288-8303)
- Friendly House, 1737 N.W. 26th Ave., Portland, (503-224-2640)
- YWCA Senior Services, Multnomah County East Building, 600 N.E. 8th St., Gresham, (503-988-3840).
For the list of hours, see the complete schedule Senior Cooling Center Schedule - August 2012 (11.54 KB).
Neighbors can also help by checking in on elderly or disabled friends and relatives. Heat
stroke or heat exhaustion are common conditions. Hot weather can also place a dangerous
strain on those with heart and other health issues.
“People affected by the heat may not recognize they have a problem. Many senior and
disabled folks live alone, may not get out much, and so it is critical that someone check
on them,’’ Iarrobino said.
Tips to staying cool:
- Never wait in a parked vehicle or leave a child, elder or pet waiting in a parked car. The National Weather Service reports temperatures inside parked vehicles can rise dangerously high -- even with the windows open.
- Slow down. Reduce or reschedule strenuous activities until the heat of the day has passed.
- Stay out of the sun. Sunburn interferes with the skin’s ability to cool.
- Dress for the weather. Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
- Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids. People with health conditions such as epilepsy, heart or kidney disease should talk to a doctor before increasing their consumption.
- Find the cool places. Visit a family member or neighbor with air conditioning, or go to the nearest public library, shopping mall or other cooled space.
- Take a cool bath, shower or sponge bath. Cool water can help cool an overheated body.
- Pay attention to older adults, people with disabilities or health conditions.
- Check on those who are at-risk at least twice a day.
- Bookmark the Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services website for the most current listings of air conditioned spaces. multco.us/ads
- Call for more information. The Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services Helpline has resources for older adults and people with disabilities, including a list of senior centers, transportation services and 24-hour crisis intervention. Call 503-988-3646 or TTY at 503-988-3683. – National Weather Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Multnomah County.
Julie Sullivan-Springhetti, Multnomah County, 503-709-9858, firstname.lastname@example.org