Around the Island

Richard’s Almanac: Hot weather tips

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | The hot days of summer are upon us. Seniors can stay cool during the hottest hours by visiting the Senior Center.
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | The hot days of summer are upon us. Senior Citizens can stay cool during the hottest hours by visiting the Shelter Island Senior Center.

I was speaking with Senior Center Director Laurie Fanelli the other day and she urged me to remind seniors that as the weather becomes hot and humid, staying cool is necessary for good health.

The Senior Center on Route 114 below the Medical Center is a great cooling center during the oppressively hot weather. There is also the opportunity for socialization, nutrition and recreation for folks whose homes are not up to top notch cooling standards. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. And when a heat emergency occurs, extended hours are announced.

In addition to staying cool, maintaining proper hydration is required during the hot weather. I addressed the hydration issue a few columns back after a talk by Dr. Nathanael Desire. He told us that we should drink some two liters of water a day. That seems to be what the experts say.

Also, if you go to the beach to cool off, avoid the hottest times from about 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Go later in the day and always wear a hat, the experts say.

I have also learned that alcoholic beverages are not good for older folk in the extreme heat. Alcohol dehydrates the body creating the opposite effect of what we’re trying to do on the hot days.

I made the mistake of preparing a straight-up Grey Goose martini the other evening to enjoy on my deck. It was just too hot out. The heat seemed to exacerbate the effects of the drink. Just watch out! Drink lemonade in the hot weather.

On another subject, Laurie also gave me information on the health benefits of vacations.

My first reaction is, of course, “who needs a vacation when you live in a vacation community?” And being retired, I feel that I am on vacation all the time.

The information in “Psychology Today” from Laurie all addresses the issue of getting away and becoming rejuvenated.

So as I see it, even those of us who are retired on a resort island with nothing to do but swim and fish and go boating, need a change of scenery sometimes to rejuvenate ourselves. Some change is good for our physical and mental health.

With that in mind, I am off to the Jersey Shore for a week to watch two of my grandchildren. It’ll be a lot of work but a change of pace for me, and I am looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, the Senior Center will be offering a Safe Driving class on Tuesday, August 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $20 for AARP members and $25 for non-mem