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Check in on elderly during summer heat

Heat exhaustion can sneak up on you, causing increased body temperature, rapid pulse, headache and fatigue. If you don’t get cool, you’ll dehydrate, possibly suffer a stroke or die.

Of 8,000-plus heat-related fatalities reported annually in the United States, 36 percent are among those age 65 and older, according to a Centers for Disease Control Heat-Related Illness Survey. Hospitalizations for heat-related symptoms increase for those over 85.

The founder of Griswold Home Care knew firsthand the dangers seniors face living alone; a parishioner at her Philadelphia-area church died from dehydration, inspiring her to start a company that could provide around-the-clock care in the home. This July 30, on what would’ve been Jean Griswold’s 88th birthday, Griswold Home Care of Westminster, Broomfield and Boulder honors her memory by encouraging those with elderly friends, relatives or neighbors to take five minutes to check in on them, particularly in very hot weather.

Studies show there are far too few professional caregivers for aging adults, a trend expected to continue for the next 10 years or more, so nonprofessionals play a vital role in keeping seniors safe. Griswold Home Care offers information and inspiration for both professional and family caregivers at

Giving just a few minutes of your time to ensure a senior’s well-being can be highly rewarding. You might even save a life.

Jim Middleton, director of Griswold Home Care of Westminster, Broomfield and Boulder

American people must hold EPA responsible

Our environment determines our health, the availability of natural resources and our way of life. We need an EPA that is committed to protecting our air, water and natural resources, all of which are tied to our health. Before being appointed head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt sued the agency 14 times to destroy clean air and water regulations. He wasted taxpayer money on getting his security detail to drive to hotels searching for lotion, among other mockeries to the American taxpayer.

As an intern with Defend Our Future, a student-led environmental advocacy organization, I have seen the impact advocacy groups can make by calling out the corrupt and irresponsible behavior of Scott Pruitt that lead to the unprecedented public pressure for him to resign as head of the EPA. Although Pruitt’s exit was a win for Americans who want to protect our environment, we must not be complacent in accepting any replacement.

Interim administrator Andrew Wheeler is almost a shadow of Pruitt. He is a former lobbyist for the coal industry who worked for some of the largest chemical and uranium companies in the country, another clear conflict of interest at the top of the EPA. It is imperative that the American people and congress hold Wheeler accountable, in the same way Pruitt eventually was, to ensure he will fulfil the mission of the agency: to protect our health and safety from dirty air, water and land.

Mikias Negussie, Denver

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