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July 17, 2012 07:10 AM

Elderly Get Help Keeping Cool

sioux falls, sd

The dog days of summer are impacting some people more than others, especially those who are very young or very old.

These days, you have to grab cool air wherever you can find it. For Glen Klemme that means never straying too far from his air conditioner. You'll often find his wife, Vicki, nearby.

"I try to get in the air as fast I can, get out of the car and into the building. I don't care for heat," Vicki Klemme said.

After suffering a stroke, heat is a particular concern for Glenn because his body isn't able to control his temperature well.  But when the mercury gets this high, it's also a concern for even relatively healthy seniors such as Vicki.

"I'm on medication that I can't be in sunlight.  So I pretty much stay out of the sunlight," Vicki said.

The Klemme's are lucky; they have someone watching out for them on days likes this - a home care aide with Comfort Keepers. The company is careful to caution clients about the effects of the heat.

"A lot of our clients are elderly. Some have kinds of health conditions that are really not safe for them to get overheated," Comfort Keepers Manager Katherine Herreid said.

That extra care is critical in conditions like these, especially for seniors who have no family nearby to watch out for them.

"There really is no one to remind them, sometimes, how important it is to drink some extra water or to keep the house a little cooler," Herreid said.

But it may be the little extra touches that help the Klemme's feel most comfortable.

"They've gone out and watered my plants because it's so hot out. They say to just stay inside and we'll spray them with the garden hose," Vicki said.

If you have elderly friend or relatives, you're urged to check on them daily and make sure they have a good circulation of air to keep them cool.

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