Celebrate Summer Safely. Tips to keep your loved ones safe during this warm season

Celebrate Summer Safely. Tips to keep your loved ones safe during this warm season

- in Aging Answers, July 2015
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The weather is turning warmer and for many, thoughts are turning to the dozens of great outdoor parks, fairs and festivals that Ohio’s communities offer.

The Ohio Department of Aging, through its STEADY U and HEALTHY U initiatives, urges all Ohioans to think about health and safety while enjoying the festivities.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO STAY SAFE THIS SEASON:

● As much as possible, stick to paved surfaces and sidewalks. Consider using a cane or walking stick for off-road walking.

● Trash, hoses and cables in walkways can cause you to slip or trip.

● Heavy crowds can affect the way you walk and cause you to trip or be knocked over. Consider attending events and attractions during off-peak times, such as early in the day and on weekdays, to avoid large crowds.

● Dehydration and exhaustion can make you unsteady on your feet before you realize you feel tired or thirsty. Take frequent breaks to sit down and rest. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids to stay hydrated. Watch for signs of dehydration and heat-related illness, such as muscle cramps, light-headedness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, flushed or clammy skin and disorientation. Seek cool environments and medical attention if you experience symptoms.

GET THE MOST OUT OF SUMMER DESTINATIONS:

● Make a budget for your visit. Know how much you expect to spend for travel, parking, admission, food, gifts and other expenses.

● Contact the venue in advance to ask about discounts on admission, food or gifts for veterans, seniors or groups.

● Call ahead to ask about wheelchair or mobility scooter rentals and prices, or if you can bring your own. Ask if there are any areas of the venue that are not accessible for people with limited mobility.

● Bring any necessary medications with you in a sealed, waterproof container, along with a list of the medicines you take and dosage information.

● Apply sunscreen to exposed skin and wear sunglasses or a hat with a wide brim to protect your eyes and minimize glare.

● Wear light-colored, lightweight clothing made from natural fibers. Fabrics like cotton absorb less heat from the sun, allow good air circulation and dry quickly if they get wet.

AFFORD COOLING COSTS

If you are concerned about your ability to afford your summer cooling costs please know that there is help available through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Summer Crisis Program. The Summer Crisis Program is a federally funded program administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency’s Office of Community Assistance. It is designed to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high costs of home energy.

For more information about HEAP and applying for the Summer Crisis Program, call the Direction Home Akron Canton’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at 1-877-770-5558.

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