Senior citizens at risk for heat stroke as temperatures rise

As temperatures head back towards the 100-degree mark, the populations most susceptible to heat stroke and heat exhaustion are the very young and the very old.

The Seneca Area Agency on Aging wants all senior citizens, their family and neighbors to know how to recognize signs of these diseases, and teach them the preventative measures to take.

Heat exhaustion typically comes with symptoms of a headache and continuous vomiting, along with a fever of around 100. Heat stoke can be life threatening, and is usually accompanied by a higher fever, around 104 or 105, and hyperventilation.

If you must be out in the heat, remember to drink plenty of water, take breaks, wear a hat and sunglasses and stay in the shade as much as possible. However, for the elderly, it's best for them not be outside at all when temperatures are this extreme, as even a few hours could do damage to their health.

"After a couple hours of that, they don't notice that the heat really has taken effect on them until later on when they're in the house and cooling down," said Joan Nydle, of Seneca AAA. "They're possible [to get] sick."

It's also important for family and neighbors to frequently check in on seniors and take them to the cooling sites or on errands if they need extra help.

"Seneca does have cooling sites in all of our 10 counties and they are at the county seats at the meal sites," Nydle said.

The locations for county cooling centers are as follows:

Appanoose - 922 W. State St.

Davis - 109 E. Franklin

Jefferson - 209 S. Court

Keokuk - 214 S. Main, 211 E. Broadway, 203 E. 4th

Lucas - 117 S. Grand

Mahaska - 111 E. Market, 715 B Ave. East

Monroe - 17 N. Clinton

Van Buren - 201 S. 4th, 801 Front, 330 N. Main, 216 S. Main, 14159 Hwy. 98

Wapello - 725 W. 2nd, 117 N. Cooper

Wayne - 511 E. Marion, 213 Main, 135 5th