Old People Should Pay Attention to Heat Warnings

August 10, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. ignore (v.) [ig-nawr] – refuse to notice or disregard something or somebody
Example: The store manager seems to ignore all the efforts of his sales personnel.

2. caution (n.) [kaw-shuhn] – a warning to somebody to be careful about something
Example: My aunt received a caution from her doctor about her blood pressure.

3. withstand (v.) [with-stand] –to remain strong or unchanged by something in an extreme situation such as heat or pressure
Example: I could not withstand the noise in the canteen so I stayed in the library.

4. diminish (v.) [dih-min-ish] – to make something smaller or less important; decrease
Example: The students’ excitement suddenly diminished when the teachers cancelled their field trip.

5. dire (adj.) [dahyuhr] – characterized by serious, urgent or desperate circumstances
Example: The victims of the recent calamities in my town are in dire need of food and clothing.

Read the text below.

Many old people in the US ignore heat warnings during summer even if they are in danger of heat-related illnesses.  A study made by Kent State University in four US cities showed that 90% of participants aged 60 and above were aware of these cautions, but only 15% took them seriously.  Most of them ignored heat warnings because they did not see themselves as old.

In the United States law, individuals aged 60 are already considered elderly or old. However, many Americans at this age think that old age starts at 80.

For instance,  73-year-old Jack Chapman does not consider himself old, because he keeps himself in good shape by staying active and eating well-balanced meals with regular vitamins.

But experts say that despite good health, old people face greater danger during high temperatures as their bodies lose the ability to withstand heat.

The sense of thirst diminishes as individuals grow older so they do not realize that they need more water. In addition, older kidneys cannot keep fluids in the body as much as younger ones do.

Senior Helpers, a company that provides in-home care for seniors, has a new program that aims to educate the elderly on avoiding heat-related illnesses. Elders are advised to limit activities on hot days and get enough water to drink.

According to Peter Ross, CEO of Senior Helpers, the effect of heat can be dire even if older folks do workout hard, because bodies change as people age.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How do you think we can inform old people about the dangers of hot weather?
·         What activities do you think should be avoided by old people during hot weather?

Discussion B

·         At what age is a person considered old in your country?
What types of jobs can be done by people aged 70 and above?

August 10, 2011