State agencies urge safety during cold temperatures
CHICAGO –-(ENEWSPF)–November 17, 2014. Governor Pat Quinn is urging people across Illinois to take advantage of the state’s warming centers as temperatures across the state continue to fall. The state has opened more than 100 warming centers across Illinois to provide shelter from the bitter cold.
The warming centers are located at Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) offices throughout the state. IDHS warming centers are open to the public during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition to the IDHS warming centers, the Illinois Tollway Oases in the Chicago area are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Governor Quinn and the Illinois Department on Aging are also encouraging relatives and friends to make daily visits or calls to older adults living alone.
Older persons are more susceptible to the cold, so seniors should set their thermostats above 65 degrees. People who lower the thermostat to reduce heating bills risk developing hypothermia, a potentially fatal condition in which the body temperature drops dangerously low. Also at an increased risk are older people who take certain medications, drink alcohol, lack proper nutrition and who have conditions such as arthritis, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
The following are some tips that seniors are encouraged to do to best handle cold temps:
• Dress in layers, both indoors and outdoors. Keep active. Make a list of exercises and activities to do indoors when you can’t get out.
• Eat well and drink 10 glasses of water daily; Stock up on non-perishable food supplies, just in case.
• Keep extra medications in the house. If this is not possible, make arrangements to have someone pick up and deliver your medications.
To find a warming center near you, call the IDHS hotline at (800) 843-6154 or visit www.keepwarm.illinois.gov.