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‘As we grow older, our bodies can’t handle extreme temperature change’: How seniors can stay safe this summer

BEND, Oregon. (KTVZ) — It’s been a hot week here in Central Oregon, with temperatures staying in the high 80s to 90s, and more hot weather is on the way.

For those who are especially sensitive to the heat, making sure that you stay hydrated and cool will keep you safe this summer.

Medications and higher risk for chronic illnesses make the senior population more vulnerable to heat related complications.

"As we grow older, our bodies can't handle extreme temperatures as well. That includes extreme cold or extreme heat. So the older we get, the more at risk we are for overheating" Dr. Jessica LeBlanc, a family physician with Mosaic Community Health, said Thursday.

Cooling stations can provide a spot to stay and relax in, to ensure you’re not overheating.

Deschutes County monitors the heat risk with information from the National Weather Service to determine if there is a heat emergency.

With that declaration, cooling centers open to help those in need.

Carissa Heinige, public health emergency coordinator for Deschutes County, said, "Monitoring those levels and based off a duration of the event is when we would recommend, in coordination with our sheriff's emergency manager group, whether we think a county-level activation is needed for opening cooling spaces."

Lack of sweat, exhaustion, and irritability are all symptoms of heat related illness.

LeBlanc says to make sure to check on your neighbors and friends during hot weather.

Article Topic Follows: Local News

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Isabella Warren

Isabella Warren is a Multimedia Journalist for NewsChannel 21.

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