As temperatures continue climbing, states such as Mississippi are experiencing some of the hottest temperatures, making it unbearable for those who may not have an air conditioning system. For senior citizens who are living in these areas, there is an increased risk of them suffering from heat-related illnesses.
According to UC Davis Health System’s geriatrics specialist, Calvin Hirsch, hot weather is a big concern for older people.
“No one is comfortable when the temperature soars,” said Hirsch, “but seniors account for a disproportionate number of heat-related hospitalizations and deaths.”
In an effort to reduce hospitalizations and keeping seniors from over-heating, the City of Jackson is offering free cooling stations for senior citizens aged 60 and older. These centers are free of cost and also serve a hot meal at noon. For those seniors who may have trouble getting to these facilities, centers are working with seniors’ homes to arrange transportation.
"It's an effort to try to make people as comfortable as possible because we've had seniors that have been reported getting sick, and you go in the house, and it's 100 degrees in the house," said Human and Cultural Senior Services Division Manager, Connie Taylor to the Jackson Free Press. "Those fans don't do anything."
Not only are the centers great for making sure that the seniors are keeping cool in the hot weather, but it gives them a chance to socialize and meet other people. These centers are also providing monthly field trips and events for seniors, improving their overall state of mind.
"Once they visit, they might want to start coming on a regular basis," Taylor said.
Cooling centers like the one in the City of Jackson can usually be found in many communities across the nation.
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