As the summer heat cranks up, it's important to take steps to stay cool and avoid heat-related illness. That's especially true for seniors, who are more susceptible to problems like heat stroke. Luckily, there are a number of "cool zones" set up around Orange County where seniors can go to stay cool and comfortable. These cooling centers are usually air-conditioned public buildings like libraries or community centers. They're open during the day, and offer a great place to take a break from the heat. Additionally, it’s important to be a bit more mindful when planning activities for the elderly in the heat. In this article, we’ll explain what cool zones are, how to find them in Orange County, and offer ideas for safe summer activities for the elderly.
What are Cool Zones?
A cool zone is a designated area where people can go to stay cool during extremely hot weather. These zones are free and open to the public. They typically have air conditioning, and may also offer water, shade, and other amenities.
Where Can I Find a Cool Zone in Orange County?
In Orange County, California, there are cool zones set up at all of the libraries, senior centers, and community centers. There are also several Cool Zones set up at malls and shopping centers. Finally, there are a few cool zones set up at local parks. These include Big Bear Lake Park, Mile Square Regional Park, and Yorba Regional Park.
If you or your loved one are in need of a cool zone this summer, there’s likely one near you.
If you or your loved one don't have air conditioning in your home(s), or if you can't afford to run it all day, you’re more likely to experience heat-related health problems. Thankfully, there are a number of organizations in Orange County that provide transportation to air-conditioned spaces for the elderly. For example, many churches and synagogues offer programs specifically for the elderly, which may include transport to and from air-conditioned buildings. Senior centers and other volunteer organizations may also step in to help. By reaching out to one of these organizations, your loved one can find a ride to a cool, comfortable space this summer.
10 Summer Activities for the Elderly in Orange County
Many local senior centers offer programs and activities that can help seniors beat the heat. For example, some centers hold "seniors only" hours in their swimming pools, so seniors can enjoy a refreshing dip without having to deal with noisy kids.
Here are 10 summer-safe activities that seniors can do in Orange County to stay cool:
Visit one of the many air-conditioned shopping malls or cool zones we mentioned.
Go for a swim at a local pool or beach.
Attend a movie matinee at a cool theater.
Have lunch or dinner at a restaurant with air conditioning.
Participate in senior citizen recreation programs at local community centers.
Take a scenic drive to view the beautiful scenery of Orange County.
Attend musical concerts or plays at cooling venues such as the Irvine Barclay Theatre.
Browse through the art exhibits at one of Orange County's many museums.
Play golf or tennis at a club with air-conditioned facilities.
Relax at home in front of a fan or air conditioner.
10 Tips to Beat the Heat at Home
Have some icy drinks or eat cooling foods like watermelon or cucumber salad.
Stay inside during the hottest hours of the day, and open up the windows to let in a breeze at night.
Wear loose, light-colored clothing made of natural fabrics like cotton.
Use fans or air conditioners to stay cool, and make sure to keep any areas used for infants or the elderly well-ventilated.
Keep rooms darkened and shades drawn to keep them cooler.
Avoid using the stove or oven, and instead, opt for cold foods or no-cook meals.
Get regular exercise in cooler morning or evening hours, and take rests in between periods of activity to prevent overheating.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, even if you're not thirsty.
Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, as they can actually cause dehydration.
Check on elderly neighbors, family, and friends frequently to make sure they're staying cool and comfortable.
If you're a senior or caring for a senior in Orange County, don't let the summer heat get you down. Take advantage of the cool zones and other resources that are available to help you stay cool and safe all summer long.
For further reading and resources, we invite you to check out our library of information for family caregivers by clicking here. You are also welcome to call us at 800-543-8312 to find out more about how we can support you on your caregiving journey.
If you are a caregiver in Orange County, please reach out to us. We would be happy to provide you with information on our Center and the many services we offer.
Additional Reading: How to Get Paid to Be a Caregiver
If you are a caregiver, we recommend you check out our article about getting paid to be a family caregiver. Becoming a caregiver is expensive–out-of-pocket costs average in the thousands each year for a family caregiver. The state of California offers several paths to receiving at least subsidized assistance, so click here to learn more about how to get paid to be a caregiver.