The Heat Hits Seniors The Hardest

I’ll share the most effective way I’ve found to keep cool

George “Ace” Acevedo
Crow’s Feet

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The Badlands, SD. Photo by author

I moved to San Francisco more than 20 years ago and learned that hardly anyone there has air conditioning.

For the most part, it’s not needed. The city’s proximity to the ocean and the bay and the fog that often settles over everything make A/C unnecessary. There are maybe five days a year when the outdoor temperature reaches 90 and above. But when it does get that hot, people drop like flies. Unfortunately, they’re primarily seniors.

I’ve noticed I don’t handle heat as well as I used to. I asked my best friend if I had always been this way, and he said no. He reminded me of all the days we spent on the beach growing up. Today, I wear hats and use umbrellas.

According to Dana G. Smith in the New York Times, the changes in our bodies that begin in our 40s can seriously affect us in our 60s. Our blood circulation becomes poor, and this matters because one of the body’s cooling mechanisms is sending blood to our skin to fight heat. The other way we cool off is by sweating, but even the ability to do that lessens as we age.

Other issues that make us susceptible to heat are age-related chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Even the medications I took this morning can make…

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George “Ace” Acevedo
Crow’s Feet

Writer. Noisemaker. Visual Artist. Former radio guy who knows a little about a lot.