County agencies say seniors are at-risk as temperatures again top 100 degrees

'If you have an older neighbor, make sure they're OK'

July 22, 2011

High temperatures are hard on everyone, but senior citizens are especially at risk during these dog days of summer.

"This heat is a major factor of concern for seniors, especially those with respiratory concerns," said Audrey Cimino, Community Foundation of Carroll County's executive director.

"It is a serious matter."

As the extreme heat advisory for the region — including Carroll County — entered Saturday, county officials said people who need relief are encouraged to go to Carroll County's senior centers or public libraries, designated cooling stations where people can go, sit and have a drink of water.

All the tables at Taneytown Senior Center have notes reminding seniors to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, said Paul Garver, the center's manager.

"Sodas and caffeine drinks dry out your body," Garver said. "When you drink that stuff, it makes you thirsty. Water will quench your thirst."

Volunteers at SKIT — Seniors Keep In Touch, a fund of Community — are making phone calls every morning, Cimino said, to remind seniors to drink fluids and to make sure someone answers.

"If you have an older neighbor, make sure they're OK," Cimino urged.

Seniors are also invited to go to Carroll County's Bureau of Aging to sit and get water, a staff member there said.

The National Weather Service has forecasted extreme heat for Maryland jurisdictions, including Carroll County. Heat Index values are expected to meet or exceed 105 degrees, with Friday's heat index possibly spiking to 110 degrees.

Residents who are vulnerable to extreme heat and who do not have air-conditioning in their homes are encouraged to cool off in any of the following locations until the close of business:

• Citizen Services Office Building, 10 Distillery Drive, Westminster, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Mount Airy Senior and Community Center, 703 Ridge Avenue, Mount Airy, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• North Carroll Senior and Community Center, 2328 Hanover Pike, Greenmount, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• South Carroll Senior and Community Center, 5928 Mineral Hill Road, Eldersburg, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• Taneytown Senior and Community Center, 220 Roberts Mill Road, Taneytown, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• Westminster Senior and Community Center, 125 Stoner Ave., Westminster, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

All branches of the Carroll County Public Library System, Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m.-8:45 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Eldersburg Branch, 6400 Hemlock Drive, Eldersburg.

• Finksburg Branch, 2265 Old Westminster Pike, Finksburg.

• Mount Airy Branch, 705 Ridge Avenue, Mount Airy.

• North Carroll Branch, 2255 Hanover Pike, Greenmount.

• Taneytown Branch, 10 Grand Drive, Taneytown.

• Westminster Branch, 50 E. Main Street, Westminster.

Additionally, Grace Lutheran Church, 21 Carroll St., Westminster, will open from noon to 6 p.m. during Code

Orange and Red days that fall on Sundays.

Water will be available for those who need it at any of the cooling centers.

Also, the Carroll County Emergency Management Division encourages people to follow these safety tips when temperatures and

humidity are high:

• Slow down. Strenuous activities should be reduced or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day.

• Wear loose, lightweight, and light colored clothing.

• Eat fewer proteins and drink plenty of water.

• Stay in air-conditioning.

For more details, call the Department of Citizen Services, 410-386-3600.

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