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Home > AgeWell > Check on the elderly and disabled during heat wave!

With temperatures expected in the 90s today and nearing 100 degrees this weekend, the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory.

Ethos would like to remind everyone to be safe during this hot and potentially dangerous weather. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. Drink plenty of fluids, wear loose fitting clothing and avoid outdoor physical activity.

If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative, call to check on you during the heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, especially those who do not have air conditioning or who spend much of their time alone, check on them at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Seniors may be able to get transportation with MBTA The RIDE or Senior Shuttle, to neighborhood cooling centers during declared heat emergencies. Additional information is available by calling 3-1-1 or the Mayor’s Hotline at 617-635-4500.

When temperatures are high, Ethos suggests:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of your activity level
  • Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink
  • If you are not sure how much water to drink, ask your doctor
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugary soda
  • Avoid very cold drinks – they could cause stomach cramps
  • Avoid cooking and hot foods – if possible, use the microwave
  • Stay indoors, in an air conditioned place if possible
  • When temperatures pass the high 90’s, electric fans will not prevent heat related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath can help.
  • If you can travel, seek air conditioned space at shopping malls, libraries, or one of the City of Boston cooling centers.
  • A few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back to the heat.
  • Avoid exertion
  • Wear loose, light colored clothing
  • Use the “Buddy System” to check on your elderly neighbors and friends
  • Watch for signs of heat exhaustion. This includes heavy sweating, weakness, fast & weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, fainting, and cold, pale, clammy skin.
  • Call your doctor if you experience sudden signs of heat exhaustion.
  • Signs of heat stroke include high body temperature, rapid & strong pulse, possible unconsciousness, & hot, red, dry or moist skin. Confusion and agitation may be present.
  • Call 911 if you think someone may be experiencing heat stroke.

For information about elders and heat emergencies, contact Ethos at (617) 522-6700 or the City of Boston 24 hour hotline at (617) 635-4500.