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Concerned About Elderly In Heat? Touch Them!

Brian Kelly Twitter:@brpkelly
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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX)-Phone calls are nice, but if you really want to make sure your elderly neighbor or relative is doing okay in the heat, you need to touch them!

That’s the word today from local health officials and first responders.  St. Louis County Health Department Spokesman Craig Lefebvre says the elderly may think their body is cool enough, but it may not be, “As you get older you lose your senses. You don’t just lose your vision and hearing, you also sometimes lose your ability to sense ‘I’m hot’ so you genuinely don’t think you’re overheating.”

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says paramedics often find heat victims who think their body temperature is normal, “They’re already 100 degrees but they don’t know it. Their internal thermostats don’t work like they used to.”

St. Louis City Health Director Pamela Walker says when it comes to those who are reluctant to turn on the air conditioner, it’s time to get personal and to the point, “Your grandchildren need you. Your children need you. You have history that we all need, so do it for someone else.”

And Cool Down St. Louis Co-Chair, the Reverend Earl Nance says the elderly in particular, can’t be stubborn, “Back in the day when there was no air conditioning people were younger and they found a way to survive. But this is not that day. We need to make use of the technology now and what we have to keep cool.”

Nance says if you need an air conditioner, or you’re concerned about the cost of staying cool, contact Cool Down St. Louis or Ameren.  Cool Down is also taking donations of cash and air conditioners.

 

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