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July 1, 2014

This week’s excessive heat and humidity are especially dangerous to New York City’s homebound elderly. Many of them live alone in apartments without air conditioning, putting them in danger of developing heat-related illnesses. Citymeals prepared for the season by providing meal recipients with bottles of water in their Independence Day boxes to ensure they would be well-hydrated.

Citymeals is also delivering 24,000 bottles of water to our frail aged neighbors, meal delivery staff and volunteers. Throughout the summer, staff and volunteers will continue to be on the lookout for signs of dehydration and sickness that may be seen during deliveries. Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals, explains, “As the main emergency responder for the city’s aging population, Citymeals will continue to supply our vulnerable elderly with bottled water and check on them every day.”

Citymeals is now urging members of the community to help make sure their older neighbors stay cool and have enough to eat and drink. Elderly New Yorkers should drink plenty of water, wear light clothing, stay indoors, limit physical activity, and use a fan or air conditioner if possible.

Classic signs of dehydration include:

  • Dry, flushed skin
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Weakness
  • Thirst

If any of these symptoms occur, or if confusion sets in, call 911. Older New Yorkers are especially vulnerable to this week’s intense heat, and they will continue to be at risk throughout the entire summer. To learn more, visit the New York City Office of Emergency Management’s website.