Keeping cool during this week of excessive heat may be a challenge, especially for the elderly and those with health issues.

Air-conditioned senior centers in Berks County will be one option for beating the heat as they extend the hours they'll be open this week.

Berks Encore's center at 40 N. 9th St. in Reading will be open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. through Friday. Call 610-374-3195.

The Family First Resource Center at 416 S. 7th St. in Reading will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. through Friday. Call 610-372-7488.

The Center at Spring Street in Boyertown will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. through Friday. Call 610-367-2313.

Casa de la Amistad at 501 Washington St. in Reading will be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. through Friday. Call 610-685-1284.

The Berks County Area Agency on Aging information satellite sites will also be open this week as follows:

  • Robeson Lutheran Church, Mohnton: Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. – noon.
  • Frieden’s Lutheran Church, Oley: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Strausstown Community Campus (formerly Strausstown Elementary School), lower level: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Keystone Villa at Fleetwood, Blandon: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Berks County Area Agency on Aging urges older adults, particularly people with breathing conditions, heart issues and those taking medications, to take the following precautions during the heat wave:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if not thirsty (avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks as they can cause dehydration)
  • Stay in air conditioned areas as much as possible, either at home or in a public place.
  • Wear cool, loose fitting, light colored clothing
  • Taking a cool shower or bath is an effective way to cool off
  • Avoid long periods in the direct sun or in unventilated rooms
  • Reschedule activities for cooler times of the day
  • If you must be outside in the heat, limit activity to morning and evening hours, and try to rest often in shady areas
  • Wear sunscreen and use hats and umbrellas if you must go outside
  • Visit places such as senior centers to remain cool