We’ve all heard it before: It’s not the heat, but the humidity. Seniors are especially vulnerable during those dog days of summer when the air feels like a coat of wet fur.

Anyone can suffer from heat-related illnesses, but conditions like obesity, heart disease and even diuretic medications make cooling off even harder, especially for seniors.

When it’s hot and humid, here’s what you can do:

Hydrate

Drink lots of water. Avoid beverages with caffeine, even iced tea. Plain, cool water is the best way to stay hydrated.

Stay Cool at Home

Use central or window air conditioners. If you don’t have air conditioning or are worried about energy costs, there are ways to keep your home cooler. Try opening your windows at night and closing them before the day gets too warm. Look for ways to catch cross breezes with two or more open windows. Use curtains and drapes to block direct sunlight. Consider wearing a damp shirt or using a small fan to keep the air moving.

Seek Cool Locations

Visit an air-conditioned location during the hottest part of the day. Movie theaters, libraries, even cooling centers are great locations to escape the heat and humidity.

Tanglewood Park’s Wellness Center or Driftwood Café are open Monday through Friday and offer a variety of programs and delicious foods so you can cool down and stay healthy at the same time! The Wellness Center is open Monday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Driftwood Café is open Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Eat Light

Avoid heavy meals or anything that requires cooking. Salads, fresh fruit and other foods that require minimal preparation will keep you nourished and cool at the same time. You can also visit a Lunch & Activity Center for a meal and company. A map of all sites and reservation information is listed at the link.

Seek Help

If you feel nauseous, dizzy, muscle cramps, a rapid pulse or confusion, summon help quickly. These are all early signs of heat stroke and rapid medical attention will help cool down your body so you are safe.

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