As I woke up at 6:00 AM Monday morning and the temperature was already 79 degrees, I thought to myself “Whoa, am I back in Indiana?” But with the temperatures expected to hover in the 90’s the rest of the week, maybe it is again time to review the effects of heat on older adults.
According to Medline Plus, an online service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are several reasons older adults are at greater risk for heat related illness. They do not adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature, are more likely to have chronic medical conditions that changes normal body responses to heat; and are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.
But there are several steps you can take to prevent heat related stress: drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages; rest; take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath; wear lightweight clothing; do not engage in strenuous activities, and seek an air-conditioned environment. (The Center is open every night except Friday of this week with different activities.)
The primary concern is heat stroke: when the body's temperature rises rapidly and loses its ability to sweat. Warning signs can include an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness and nausea. If you find someone in heat stress, call 9-1-1immediately and start cooling the individual rapidly, using whatever methods you can.
As we all know, “this too shall pass” and in four months we will be longing for the lazy, crazy days of summer. In the meantime, stay cool, drink plenty of liquids and keep an eye out for each other.
Remembering and celebrating the past is the focus of several events happening this coming weekend. On August 11th and 12th you can see how harvesting was done in the “good ole days” with horse-drawn threshers and a steam-powered wheat separator at the Dufur Threshing Bee.
And Friday Night if you are downtown in The Dalles after 7:00 PM and you feel you have been time warped into the movie “American Graffiti” (but you still can’t find Suzanne Somers in the white ’56 T-bird), it is because you are in the middle of the “Neon Cruise”. Ah, the memories of the cars of my youth! Driving a light blue ’63 Skylark convertible with my high school sweetheart snuggled next to me. (Talk about a distraction while driving!) But memories aside, you can see all the classic autos up close and personal at the “Show in the Shade” on Saturday at Sorosis Park.
The Wasco County Fair and Rodeo is just around the bend. And once again, on Thursday, August 16th (Free Family Fun Day sponsored by Mel’s Sanitation) lunch will be provided for free thanks to the contributions of the Area Agency on Aging and Flagstone Senior Living.
Tonight at the Center, the Strawberry Mountain Band will be back for another musical set to get you and your partner up on the dance floor. And then on Tuesday August 14th, John Martin will bring his Friends to play some good foot-stomping, Country and Western standards. It all starts at 7:00, everyone is invited and donations are always accepted.
The 1950-1961 game show, hosted by Bud Collyer, where couples were required to perform a stunt within a certain time limit was “Beat the Clock”. (And the winner of a free Saturday breakfast is Pat Yanez.)
But now that Michael Phelps has added to his record medal count, Gabby Douglas has won gold in the all-around and Oregon’s own Galen Rupp brought home a silver in the 10,000 meters - the first medal won by an American in that event since Billy Mills won gold in 1964, it seems appropriate to have an Olympic “Remember When” question, right? So here goes. In the 1948 Summer Olympics, resuming after a 12 year hiatus because of WW II, who was the 17 year old American that won the decathlon event? Email your answer to the firstname.lastname@example.org, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with an autographed football from the 1952 Stanford Football Team.
Well, it has been another week, deciding whether to go to sleep or watch the Olympics. Until we meet again, the Olympic goal may be to go “faster, higher and stronger, but I’m satisfied if I can just keep moving, stay upright and get to the bathroom in time!
“As we grow older, we must discipline ourselves to continue expanding, broadening, learning, keeping our minds active and open.” Clint Eastwood
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