will be hottest weather of the summer so far
Triple digit temperatures are knocking on our door, and temperatures in the 107 degree range are possible by Tuesday, leading groups to express concern about elderly residents who frequently experience trouble in the heat, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Dr. Martha Spinks with the Alamo Service Center says older people have more trouble regulating their body temperature, due to aging problems. She says, on top of that, many seniors take meds which mask the impact of hotter temperatures.
"They are accustomed to having unusual sensations from the medications, they often confuse heat stroke symptoms with the effect from the medications," she said, adding that many medications give seniors the chills, or make them not realize that conditions are as warm as they are.
Add to that the fact that many seniors, especially people who grew up in extreme poverty, still see air conditioning as a 'luxury,' and even if they have air conditioning and can afford to run it, many decline. That situation led to the death of two elderly sisters on the south side several years ago, who died of heat stroke despite having air conditioning in their home.
"Just turn on the air conditioner, worry about the utility bill later," Spinks said, pointing out that several agencies around the city have programs to help seniors pay their power bills.
Another problem facing people in this area is that heat stroke symptoms can begin to be triggered when temperatures reach 85 degrees, which is a cool summer day in San Antonio.
"A lot of us living in Texas get used to the heat, and we don't always think that 85 degrees is so bad," she said.
Spinks encourages everybody to be aware of older people living near them, and pay them a courtesy call to make sure their home is cool and the seniors are in good shape.