Summer heat has finally arrived. And seniors are often the most vulnerable to the effects of heat.
Temperatures are expected to stay in the high 90's for the next several days. And the 'heat index,' a measure of how it feels outside, could even reach 105-degrees. Luckily, there's a program in place to help keep a check on seniors.
Two hundred volunteers help deliver 11-hundred meals through the Caddo Council on Aging's program called Meals on Wheels. Some of those volunteers now include staff at Nurse Care nursing home in Shreveport.
They deliver meals Monday through Thursday to 16-homebound seniors at the independent living facility Goodman Plaza right around the corner. Nurse Care Administrator Vicki Ott described, "we look to make sure that they have air conditioning, that their body temperature is cool."
One of the biggest challenges, explained the Director of the Caddo Council on Aging is convincing seniors who don't have, or won't use, air conditioning to open their windows. Mary Alice Rountree continued, "so many of our seniors keep the doors locked, they shut. They keep the fan on and what we do is we're creating convection ovens inside their house."
Vicki Ott says their Meals on Wheels volunteers also check the setting on the a/c, "because their (senior's) temperature sensors tend to go out a little bit as we age. They may even have the heat on."
Rountree even made a public plea for people to take action. "Look around. If you have a senior living in your neighborhood, make sure that you check on them. Make sure that there's some kind of activity going on because they could be laying inside the house from heat exhaustion."
Story by Jeff Ferrell