June 23, 2009 13:10 ET

Soaring Temps Put Older Illinoisans at Risk

AARP Provides Quick Tips to Beat the Heat -- Reminds People to Check In on Elderly Friends and Neighbors

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - June 23, 2009) - With summer temperatures climbing, AARP is reminding individuals to check in on elderly family members, friends, and neighbors who may be at particular risk of heat-related health problems such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 384 people die from heat each year, more than deaths caused by floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined. Of the 525 heat-related deaths in Chicago in the July 1995 heat wave, 73% were elderly.

"The summer heat can cause serious health problems for the elderly, sometimes resulting in death," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director. "We can all work to prevent these unnecessary deaths by taking the time to check in on those who are most at risk in our communities."

AARP has several quick tips for preventing a heat-related emergency:

--  Do not engage in strenuous activity.
--  Stay indoors during the hottest times of the day.
--  Close your shades to keep out the sunshine.
--  If you do not have air conditioning, stay on the lower-level in your
    home -- heat rises.
--  Check with your local agency for cool places you can go, such as
    libraries, public buildings, or air-conditioned malls.
--  Wear light-weight, loose fitting clothing and protect yourself from
    the sun by wearing a hat and sunglasses or using an umbrella.
--  Drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty. This helps keep
    your body cool.
To help spread the word on important issues like this one, AARP has recently launched Create the Good (, an initiative aimed at connecting people and providing the tools and knowledge for them to make a difference in their local communities across the nation.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Gerardo Cardenas

    Heather Underwood