While staying cool in the summer can be difficult, no matter who you are, the danger that the heat poses to some members of our society is largely overlooked.
For the elderly population, the summer heat can be more than just uncomfortable, it can be deadly. Many of our elderly live on fixed incomes, and the rising costs of energy can deter them, or even make it impossible, for them to use air conditioning during the hottest parts of the year.
In many larger cities, when the heat rises, television and radio will make the point of how dangerous the heat can be to the elderly. In many communities, however, there is little information on how to help those who are most affected by the dangerous heat of summer.
For families, and caregivers who take care of the elderly, finding ways to protect them from the summer heat is one of their most important tasks. While it may not always seem easy, checking the local newspaper, or keeping an eye out for public notices about local activities can help protect the elderly, as well as provide them with entertainment during the summer months.
In many communities there are day time programs designed for seniors. These are often all day events, and in most cases are hosted inside community centers, or other large public buildings. Many of these programs offer a respite from the summer heat, as well as crafts, meals, and games. A large majority of these programs are free of charge.
Other good places to escape the heat of the day for seniors are malls, and libraries. Most libraries are designed to deal with handicapped visitors who many be using mobility aids. Audiobooks and reading groups offer a variety of activities for people who may have impaired vision.
Most shopping malls are also handicapped accessible, and they are usually located along public transit routes, making them a cheap way to get away from the day time heat. During the summer many malls host special events, such as car, boat, and fashion shows which can provide entertainment, and keep people out of the heat.