The summer is shaping up to be a scorcher in many parts of the country. For many this might mean some discomfort, but for those with COPD extreme heat can be crippling or even deadly.
LifeCare Alliance, an non-profit agency in Columbus, OH, serves the community by distributing fans donated by individuals and retailers. In the past ten years, LifeCare Alliance has provided 40,000 fans to those in need — including those with COPD.
Sally Brown, a Columbus resident and U.S. Air Force veteran, lives with COPD and diabetes. Without the kindness of her local community members, Ms. Brown would be stuck sitting on her porch, gasping for every breath. Check out her story here.
So, what can you do to combat this summertime heat??
Here are a few tips:
1. Stay indoors.
First and foremost, try to stay indoors with air conditioning as much as possible. If you do not have air conditioning, try to stay with a friend or go to a public space that does (library, for instance).
2. Drink plenty of water.
Try to avoid sugary or alcoholic beverages – they will dehydrate you. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty or are inactive.
3. Plan your outdoor activities carefully.
If you must be outside, try to limit your activities to early mornings and evenings.
4. Have someone check-in.
It is a good idea to have a “buddy,” friend or family, call to check in on you every so often. You may even ask a neighbor to make a visit to your home to make sure you are OK.
Have any suggestions about keeping cool during summer months? Please share!
The Centers for Disease Control. “Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety”. http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp
COPD: The Heat Is On, http://copd.about.com/od/complicationsofcopd/a/copdandsummer.htm.
Air Force Veteran Among Those in Line for Free Fan, http://www2.nbc4i.com/news/2012/jun/28/air-force-vet-among-those-line-free-fan-ar-1086675/