Staying Cool and Safe: Coping with Heat Stroke in Arizona's Elderly Community

Aug. 8, 2023

As the temperatures rise in Arizona during the summer months, it's essential for older adults  to take extra precautions to stay safe and prevent heat-related illnesses like heat stroke. Older adults are more susceptible to heat-related health issues due to age-related changes that affect the body's ability to regulate temperature. Understanding the risks of heat stroke and adopting preventive measures can help older adults enjoy the summer while staying cool and safe.

Recognizing Heat Stroke Symptoms:

Heat stroke is a severe heat-related illness that requires immediate attention. It occurs when the body's core temperature rises to dangerous levels, causing symptoms like a throbbing headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, and a rapid pulse. In extreme cases, heat stroke can lead to unconsciousness and organ failure. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, seek medical help promptly. In an emergency, call 911.

Staying Cool and Hydrated:

To avoid heat stroke, older adults should stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If going outside is necessary, wear lightweight, breathable clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat for sun protection. It's essential to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, even if you don't feel thirsty. Opt for water and avoid caffeine or alcoholic beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.

Accessing Resources and Support:

Arizona offers resources to support  older adults during the summer. The Area Agency on Aging connects  older adults with services such as home-delivered meals, transportation assistance, and information on cooling centers. To find resources in your area, visit their website at

  1. Cooling Centers: Cooling centers are designated locations where  older adults and other vulnerable individuals can seek relief from the heat during extreme weather conditions. Many cities in Arizona open cooling centers during heatwaves to provide a safe and air-conditioned environment. To find the nearest cooling center, reach out to your local city government or visit their website.
  2. Senior Centers and Support Organizations: Local senior centers and organizations play a vital role in providing information and assistance to older adults during the summer. They often offer educational workshops on heat safety, social activities, and support networks. Check out the Arizona Senior Center Association to find a Senior Center near you.

As the Arizona summer heats up, it's crucial for the elderly community to take proactive measures to prevent heat stroke and stay safe. Recognizing the symptoms of heat stroke, staying cool and hydrated, and accessing available resources can help older adults navigate the summer with peace of mind. By taking these precautions and utilizing the available resources, Arizona's elderly community can enjoy the season while minimizing the risks associated with extreme heat.