(Gloucester Township, NJ) – To help senior citizens beat the heat this summer, the Camden County Freeholder Board is once again distributing free fans. Camden County residents age 60 and older with an income of $25,000 or less are eligible to receive a fan.
“Many senior citizens are living in homes without air conditioning or other means of cooling,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Division of Senior Services which oversees the program. “When temperatures rise to dangerous levels, these seniors should open windows to release trapped air and use a fan to circulate the air in a home. This not only makes it more comfortable, but more importantly makes it safer.”
During the hottest days of summer, senior citizens should wear lightweight clothing and avoid strenuous activity in the hot sun or in other hot areas. If you must be out in the sun, wear a head covering. A wide-brimmed hat or visor will not only protect your head from intense rays of the sun, it will also provide a shield for your eyes. Those taking regular medication should consult with their physician. Some medications cause an adverse reaction in hot weather. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids, warm and cool. Because the body loses fluids in the heat, drinking lots of liquids helps to avoid dehydration.
“The national weather service has issued a heat advisory for Tuesday afternoon with temperatures expected to climb near or just above 100 degrees,” Rodriguez said. “The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity can cause heat related illnesses in senior citizens.”
The early warning signs of heat stress are decreased energy, slight loss of appetite, faintness, light-headedness and nausea. People experiencing these symptoms should go to a cool environment, drink liquids, remove excess clothing and rest.
Serious signs of heat stress include unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, throbbing headache, dry skin, chest pain, mental confusion, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, staggering and difficulty breathing. People experiencing these symptoms should get to immediate medical attention. While waiting for help, move the person to a cool area, remove excess clothing, spray with water, and fan the person. In an emergency, dial 911.
“There are currently more than 50 fans ready for immediate distribution with more on the way,” Rodriguez said. “For more than a decade we have worked with senior organizations and municipal emergency management coordinators to distribute fans to seniors. Please take the proper precautions to ensure that this summer is save and enjoyable.”
To request a fan or to obtain more information, please call the Camden County Division of Senior Services at (856) 858-3220.