Delco's Heat Plan details resources to help vulnerable people cope with extreme heat
Each summer, Delaware County develops a Heat Plan with resources and tips aimed at helping residents cope with the extreme heat. Delaware County is proactive when it comes to the health and safety of residents. The County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) and the Department of Human Services work to put a Heat Plan in place before the hot weather hits and to offer resources for residents to cope with the heat once it arrives.
“While most of us enjoy the sunshine and the warmer weather during the summer months, the heat can be dangerous, especially for our vulnerable and older residents, and our pets,” said Delaware County Council Chairman John McBlain. “It's important for our residents, particularly the elderly, young children and those with health challenges to say cool, stay hydrated and stay informed.”
Residents are urged to visit the County's website to read the 2019 Heat Plan and learn about the resources the County provides. Residents should take precautions during heat waves and high humidity, check in with elderly and disabled family members and neighbors who are at greater risk for heat-related illnesses.
The Heat Plan includes a Heat Information Line, extended hours at Senior Centers, and educational information on heat safety and the safe use of fans. COSA purchased several hundred cooling fans and 100 fans were donated by PECO, which were delivered to the County's eight senior centers for distribution to seniors. A fan creates air flow which helps the body evaporate sweat and cool down.
The Heat Plan calls for senior centers and adult day care centers to extend their hours, to offer water and non-caffeinated beverages throughout the day and to check in with their clients. Care managers are asked to identify at risk clients who are homebound, living alone or have a prior history of inadequate cooling in their home.
The Heat Plan also includes tips such as staying hydrated and being aware of symptoms of heat exhaustion. Residents are urged to stay hydrated. Dehydration can have a major impact on people, especially the elderly, often causing confusion. People who work outside should be aware of the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. The highest number of heat-related deaths are among men in their 50s and 60s.
It is also important to remember the safety of pets during the warmer, more humid months as animals respond differently to heat. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature can skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly. Residents are reminded to not leave anyone in a car, including pets.
COSA's Heat Information Line at (610) 872-1558 is a recorded 24-hour phone service that runs June 1 through September 30, providing residents with heat advisory updates and information. People who need additional assistance can contact a COSA's Information and Assistance service at (610) 490-1300.
Chester Senior Center
721 Hayes Street
Chester, PA 19013
Hours: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday
Friendship Circle Senior Center
1515 Lansdowne Avenue
Darby, PA 19023
East Campus of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital
Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Weekend programming on occasion, see calendar of events.
Good Neighbor Senior Center
1085 Hook Road
Darby Township, PA 19079
Hours: Monday through Friday 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
Evening and weekend programming on occasion, see calendar of events.
Havertown Senior Center
1105 Earlington Road
Havertown, PA 19083
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:00AM-4:00PM
Hometown Senior Center
302 S. Jackson Street
Media, PA 19063
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:00AM-4:00PM
Schoolhouse Senior Center
600 Swarthmore Avenue
Folsom, PA 19033
Phone: 610-237-8100 ext. 30
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Evening and weekend programming on occasion, see calendar of events
Upper Darby Senior Center
326 Watkins Avenue
Upper Darby, PA 19082
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Friday
8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday
Wayne Senior Center
108 Station Road
Wayne, PA 19087
Hours: Monday–Thursday: 9am–4:30pm
Pets need extra care during extreme temperatures, as they cannot care for themselves. There are several measures that can be taken to alleviate the repercussions of heat on pets.