Tips to keep senior citizens safe from the heat

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - The summer swelter turned deadly for a 63-year-old Illinois man. On Wednesday, he was found dead in his home. Authorities say the summer heat is to blame, but there are ways to keep seniors citizens safe.

Heather Knutt with Shawnee Alliance for Seniors stopped by Louise Broussard's Marion home. The focus of this visit was the heat.

"Are you going out and doing your shopping in the morning when it's the coolest," Knutt asked?

Knutt and Broussard continue to chat about how she is trying to stay cool. Broussard says when she was younger the high temps were not a bother. But now at age 73, her body can no longer handle the heat.

"I'm on medication that says don't get out in the heat," Broussard said. "I got high blood pressure a lot more problems."

Broussard like others her age ... remember the days of no air-conditioning.

"A lot of them just grew up without air, so they try to tough it out as long as they can without turning it on to try to save their money," Knutt said.

But the savings of few dollars, Knutt says can cause serious problems.

"With people who have breathing troubles or have a lot of health issues the heat and not being able to get out is a major issue," Knutt added.

That's why Knutt says visits like this one are important on hot days. She adds seniors should not try to tough it out rather ask for help and head to a cool place.

One of those places is the Marion Senior Citizens Center. Ferris Trovillion enjoys the newspaper in the cool air.  Trovillion says he's never had air-conditioning at his home, so on hot days he spends a little extra time at the center.

"Something to do here all the time too, if one wants to read the paper or play games or puzzles or play pool or whatever these actives are right here," Trovillion said.

Knutt says its important seniors take these precautions in the heat. That includes staying in the air conditioning or near a fan, drinking lots of liquids and wearing light clothing. She adds it important seniors have someone check on them daily.

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