Welcome Summer! Everyone loves the long, sunny days of this season, but we understand they don’t come without risk. Did you know that heat waves affect New York City nearly every year and kill more New Yorkers on average than all other natural disasters combined? Hot weather can cause heat stroke and exacerbate chronic medical conditions and may lead to severe complications and death. It’s important to know your risk.
The New York City Department of Health and Hygiene consider the following people more at risk for heat-related illness:
People who do not have or use air conditioning AND have one or more of the following risk factors:
• Aged ≥ 65 years
• Chronic health conditions
• Obesity (BMI > 30)
• Psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
• Cognitive or developmental disorder that impairs judgment or self-care
• Taking certain medications
• Socially isolated or with limited mobility
Many of our clients are considered high risk for heat-related illness. Most victims are overcome by heat in their own homes and do not have fully working air conditioners. Fans do not provide sufficient cooling during extremely hot weather. Air conditioning is the most effective protection during extreme heat. Use air conditioners (set to at 78 degrees or cooler) or go to air-conditioned places on hot days. Drink plenty of fluids during hot weather and monitor body weight to assess hydration statuses.
Be alert to the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness or exacerbation of chronic medical conditions, which include:
• Hot, dry skin OR cold, clammy skin
• Confusion, hallucinations, disorientation
• Nausea or vomiting or loss of appetite
• Decreased energy
• Trouble breathing
• Rapid, strong pulse
• Weakness or dizziness
During the hot season, we at Alliance take great care to make sure our clients are safe and healthy. Our caregivers are trained to recognize heat-related symptoms and act appropriately. If you or someone you love wants to know more about how to keep cool, contact us at 1(877) 687-7380.