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Wiregrass Organizations Help Seniors Prepare for Hot Summer

By: Deanna Bettineschi Email
By: Deanna Bettineschi Email

Some agencies in the wiregrass are hoping to make the summer months more enjoyable for the elderly.

You walk outside and immediately feel the sun’s rays beating down on you.
And summer hasn't even started and it looks like this hot weather isn't leaving soon.
So how do cash-strapped elderly get relief when they can't afford a cooling system?

“And if you don’t have air conditioning or your air doesn’t work very well, you can also go to a senior center. We have 37 senior centers throughout our region, so there should be one fairly close to your home.” SARCOA community education coordinator Jessica Franklin said.

Churches and other recreation centers also start to open when the temperatures reach the high 90's.
But many seniors enjoy being in the comfort of their own home.

“If you have a senior relative or a neighbor, check on them. And they may not tell you that they are getting to hot, but you need to take the initiative to go by once a day, maybe twice a day, make sure they are drinking enough water, that it’s not too hot in the apartment.” Franklin said.

The human resource development corporation has also found a way to help residents afford their summer electric bills.
It's an energy assistance program with two parts.

“One is a regular application and for regular applications it’s a onetime credit on your electric bill, depending on what you qualify for and it s based on income and how many is in the family.” Human Resources Development Interim CEO, June Malloy said.

The second option...

“Your bill has to be passed due. You have to have a medical need. someone in the house has to be 60 or older or a child 5 or under.” Malloy said.

This program is possible through a state grant.
And now it's possible that more seniors will be able to stay cool this summer.
To qualify, you must make an appointment with the human resource development corporation.
From there you will be asked to verify your income, provide social security numbers for those living in the home, and have a picture I-D and a current utility bill.


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