High Temperatures Prove Dangerous For Senior Citizens

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

These extremely hot temperatures can particularly hit Wiregrass senior citizens hard. The Centers for Disease Control says heat-related illness can be deadly for the elderly.

A couple of senior citizens News 4 spoke with say they'll have to just deal with the heat because they can't afford to pay for an air conditioner.

The extreme heat has caused extreme pain for some area elderly citizens.

With a unit that's too costly to pay for, Louisa Edge just sits in her bedroom chair, her legs swollen from the heat. "It's hot, but I can't afford an air conditioner," she says.

Meanwhile, walking into Dothan Resident Ruby Miller's home you begin sweating immediately. And, though she has two fans blowing, they are her only source of air. "Yes, it is hot,” she says. “But my air conditioner doesn't work."

Both Louisa and Ruby are part of the Quick Senior Center's Meals on Wheels Service.

There, cooks prepare the food and drivers Bruce Riley and Teresa Dorminey prepare to deliver them.

"It's sad, especially when you have these 110 degree temperatures and they don't have air conditioning," says Riley.

Director Barbra Tyus sings to senior citizens who are members of the center.

These folks have a healthy alternative to staying cool, by staying indoors at the center.

However, seniors who have impaired mobility, a chronic disease or take medications, that can lead to body temperature changes or fluid loss. And, in Louisa or Ruby's situation they don't have air conditioning at all and are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses.

So, as an elderly person what can you do to protect yourself?

Stay in a cool location and call a doctor immediately if you don't feel good.

A person may be experiencing a heat stroke if they can't talk or pinpoint where they feel pain.

To combat the heat, the Quick Senior Center will hold it's first Homemade Ice Cream Social next Monday.


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