SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Meals On Wheels drivers aren't just delivering food to senior citizens — they're also checking in on their clients as the heat of summer arrives.
When temperatures rise, the men and women delivering for the Meals On Wheels program often find themselves on the front line in detecting health concerns among their senior citizen clients every summer.
These days the Caddo Council on Aging delivers meals to 1,100 people every day Monday through Thursday.
"A lot of times over the weekend on Monday mornings our drivers and our volunteers are the first one to find the person, unconscious on the floor. We have come across people that have passed away," said Caddo Council on Aging Executive Director Monica Wright.
Wright told us drivers are trained to look for certain characteristics, for example, a change in mannerisms, behavior, speech; anything that may seem out of the ordinary and show that the person could be in some sort of distress.
Also, if a driver becomes worried about a client, they immediately call for a safety check.
"We call the fire department, the police department, the parish; whoever we need to call to go out and check on the senior and make sure that they're okay," Wright said. We also notify their family members."
Longtime Meals on Wheels delivery driver Eve Goins actually urges everyone to take a moment every so often to check in on a relative, friend or neighbor who might need a little help.
Sometimes even seniors with working air conditioners will not use them, so drivers will urge them to do so - or at least use a fan.
"Now that the fan drive's going on we check to see if they would like a fan just to help circulate the air," concluded Wright.
KSLA's annual fan drive is happening now. You can donate fans at any Barksdale Federal Credit Union location in the Ark-La-Tex.
KSLA News 12 studios will not be a drop off location this year.
All fans collected will be given to the Caddo Council on Aging, and they will give them out. The last day to donate is June 30.