Tag Archives: heat


Heat Increases Danger for Seniors Taking Prescriptions

A potentially deadly danger lurks in the medicine cabinets of local seniors this summer. Did you know that heat, when combined with certain medications, can seriously harm seniors? That’s why SYNERGY HomeCare, one of the nation’s largest non-medical in-home care franchises, with local offices in our area, recommends that families pay special attention to seniors that are taking any medications this summer. Considering the fact that some 80-86% of seniors suffer from a chronic condition or disease that requires medication, the summer heat can pose significant challenges!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

• Seniors are more prone to heat stroke and heat-related stress because their bodies can’t adjust to sudden changes in temperature.
• Seniors who take certain prescription medications are more susceptible to heat related injuries and illnesses.

“During the hot summer months, families really need to pay special attention to their elderly loved ones who are taking medications and may not understand the health risks,” says Rick Basch, President of SYNERGY HomeCare. “We strongly urge families to consult with their doctor or pharmacist regarding the potential impact of heat on any medications. If family members aren’t available, our Caregivers can be an excellent resource for monitoring any potentially adverse reactions to heat that a senior may experience.”

Prescription for Trouble

• Antidepressants and antihistamines act on an area of the brain that controls the skin’s ability to make sweat. Sweating is the body’s natural cooling system. If a person can’t sweat, they are at risk for overheating.
• Beta blockers reduce the ability of the heart and lungs to adapt to stresses, including hot weather. This also increases a person’s risk of heat stroke and other heat related illnesses.
• Amphetamines can raise body temperature.
• Diuretics act on kidneys and encourage fluid loss. This can quickly lead to dehydration in hot weather.
• Sedatives can reduce a person’s awareness of physical discomfort which means symptoms of heat stress may be ignored.
• Ephedrine/Pseudoephedrine found in over the counter decongestants decrease blood flow to the skin and impact the body’s ability to cool down.

“We want to do everything we can to ensure that our seniors don’t make the headlines this summer due to heat-related conditions,” says Basch. “Our Caregivers can be a lifesaver (literally), when it comes to keeping seniors well hydrated, cool and comfortable. They’re an extra set of eyes and when it really counts.”

heat relief network - hot sun

Summer Heat Relief Campaign Kicks off May 1

Scorching temperatures are a health hazard to the Valley’s homeless and elderly shut-ins, and one non-profit organization is mobilizing to prevent heat-related deaths and illnesses among this vulnerable, growing population.

Phoenix Rescue Mission is partnering with several municipalities and businesses to launch its new “Code Red: Summer Heat Relief Campaign” on Wed., May 1. While the Mission has conducted annual summer water drives for several years, “Code Red” elevates the urgency of the call to action with a public plea for water, white socks, toiletries, cool snack packs, hats, light-colored T-shirts, sunglasses, sunscreen, chapstick, chilly neck coolers and more. Volunteers are needed to help with distribution efforts and other tasks. Monetary donations are also requested, particularly in May when the Mission qualifies for a matching grant made possible by several friends of the Phoenix Rescue Mission that ends May 31.

“The majority of homeless people on the streets are battling addiction challenges, which means many of them are already severely dehydrated because of their substance abuse. Combine that with extreme heat and it can be fatal,” said Jay Cory, Phoenix Rescue Mission president and CEO.

Arizona ranks as the 4th worst state in the nation for homelessness. A startling 13,248 men, women and children are homeless in Maricopa County, according to the most recent Maricopa Association of Governments street count and point-in-time shelter data. In addition, Phoenix was recently identified in a national HUD survey as one of the few places in the U.S. where the homeless street population has actually grown by 11 percent in 2012 as compared to 2011.

Public drop-off sites for water, socks, sunscreen, hats, toiletries and other heat relief items are located throughout the Valley. For a complete list of items needed and drop-off locations, visit www.phoenixrescuemission.org.

Phoenix Rescue Mission provides Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger and homelessness. The non-profit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to save lives, including Hope Coach Street Outreach, Homeless Emergency Services, Men’s Addiction Recovery Program and the new Changing Lives Center for Women and Children. For more information, call (602) 346-3342 or visit www.phoenixrescuemission.org.

Blocking the heat island effect 2010

Blocking The Heat Island Effect

Extreme Valley heat may have you pointing an accusing finger down, not up

The Valley is no stranger to high temperatures with its excessive heat advisories and record-setting highs in the summer months. However, a contributing factor that is actually making

the Valley even hotter is the reality of the “urban heat island effect.”

The “urban heat island effect” is defined as higher temperatures experienced in built-up areas in the Valley as compared to the surrounding rural areas.

Part of what’s contributing to the “urban heat island effect,” is the fact that areas in the Valley are simply not cooling off after the sun goes down due to the extreme heat absorbed by the concrete and asphalt in our freeways, roads and parking lots. At night, this heat is slowly re-emitted, keeping temperatures high throughout the evening. In addition to uncomfortable temperatures, this also translates into higher energy bills for consumers.

One way to address the Valley’s “urban heat island effect” is pervious concrete, a porous paving system that helps reduce heat build-up by allowing cooler Earth temperatures below the concrete to migrate up.

Pervious concrete has been used in building construction since at least the middle of the 19th century. Over the years, the pervious concrete system contributed substantially to the production of new houses in the United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, France, Belgium, Scotland, Spain, Hungary, Venezuela, West Africa, the Middle East, Australia and Russia. After 1946, however, pervious concrete was used for a much broader range of applications, including industrial, public and domestic buildings in areas north of the Arctic Circle, since traditional building materials proved to be not viable.

Blocking the heat island effect 2 2010
Drainscape, showcasing the water passing through it

The concrete also allows for three to eight gallons of water, per square foot, per minute to pass through it, helping the environment in multiple capacities. This type of paving system also helps eliminate water pollution as water infiltrates the soil beneath the pavement, filtering pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency recognized pervious concrete as a “Best Management Practice” for storm water pollution protection.

For developers, this concrete can also be a cost effective solution by eliminating the need for an expensive water retention basin on the property, as water simply drains through the concrete.

Phoenix-based Progressive Concrete Works has developed its own pervious concrete called Drainscape. It functions much like sand, which heats up during the daytime when the sun is beating down on it. At night, however, the sand is cool to the touch because it does not retain the heat.

Drainscape is recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program for its smaller development footprint on land sites by reducing the amount of land needed to manage storm water. Drainscape is primarily installed in parking lots in commercial developments, and can help contribute to LEED points on virtually any construction project.

Mike Riggs is the President Progressive Concrete Works. For more information, visit http://www.drainscape.com.