Health & News

6 (Mostly Free) Ways for Seniors to Escape the Heat

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When temperatures climb into the 90s and beyond, it can be unbearable. Extreme heat can be especially difficult for senior citizens. Thankfully, you can find free or affordable ways to enjoy air conditioning all over town. 

Here are some places to visit during a heat wave:

1. Libraries – Relax in a quiet space with a magazine or a book. Or surf the internet on a library computer. Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties have plenty of great libraries to choose from. 

2. Shopping Malls – Grab an ice tea from the food court, find a seat, and start some serious people-watching! 

3. Senior Centers – Hide from the heat with other seniors. You may even make new friends! Go to to find a center near you. Just type in your zip code and search for “senior center.”

4. Recreation and Community Centers – Get energized by all the kids and families coming and going. Search for “community center” or “recreation center.”

5. Small Movie Theaters – You don’t have to break the bank to catch a movie at some independent theaters:

  • Gresham Cinema - $3.00 for seniors
  • Avalon Theatre - $3.00 for seniors
  • Mt. Hood Theatre - $3 for seniors
  • Laurelhurst Theater - $3 for seniors
  • Academy Theater - $3 for seniors
  • Mission Theater - $4, $2 for a few shows
  • Kennedy Theater - $4

6. Cooling Centers – When the heat is red hot for two days or more, local governments and non-profits will often open special cooling centers. You’ll find several free centers near you at Just search for “cooling centers.” You may even be treated to snacks and/or entertainment at a few of these heat-wave shelters.

If you live in Multnomah and Washington Counties, you can get a free ride to the cooling centers. Just call Ride Connection at 503-226-0700. Year-round, Ride Connection will get you where you need to go for free.    

For most of Clackamas County, Transportation Reaching People will help seniors get around all year long. Book your ride far ahead of time. You may be asked for a donation to help pay for the trip. Give them a call at 503-655-8208 or go to the Clackamas County website.

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