Letter to the Editor: Please check in on seniors during hot weather

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To the editor:

Heat exhaustion can sneak up on you, causing increased body temperature, rapid pulse, headache and fatigue. If you don’t get cool, you’ll dehydrate, possibly suffer a stroke, or worse, die.

Of 8,000-plus heat-related fatalities reported annually in the United States, 36 percent are among those age 65 and older, according to a Centers for Disease Control Heat-Related Illness Survey. Hospitalizations for heat-related symptoms increase for those over 85.

The founder of Griswold Home Care knew first-hand the dangers seniors face living alone; a parishioner at her Philadelphia-area church died from dehydration, inspiring her to start a company that could provide around-theclock care in the home. This July 30, on what would’ve been Jean Griswold’s 88th birthday, Griswold Home Care Northern Virginia East honors her memory by encouraging those with elderly friends, relatives or neighbors to take five minutes to check in on them, particularly in very hot weather.

Studies show there are far too few professional caregivers for aging adults, a trend expected to continue for the next 10 years or more, so non-professionals play a vital role in keeping seniors safe. Griswold Home Care offers information and inspiration for both professional and family caregivers at CaregiverResource.com.

Giving just a few minutes of your time to ensure a senior’s well being can be highly rewarding. You might even save a life.

-Christine Friedberg, director, Griswold Home Care, Northern Virginia East

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