'Keep Cool' Fan Distribution Program slated for Senior Citizens
(Woodbury) - Although summer doesn't officially begin until June 21st, the heat is here. Today Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney and Freeholder Helene Reed announced that the County's Division of Senior Services would be distributing fans to senior citizens in need of relief in their homes next week.
"Summer weather seemed to come upon us quickly, so we wanted to get the Division of Senior Services annual "Keep Cool" fan distribution moving fast to help our most vulnerable seniors stay cool and comfortable," said Freeholder Director Sweeney.
Fan Distribution will take place on:
Thursday, June 16 at Carino Park Apartments, 100 Chestnut Street in Williamstown from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon
Friday, June 17 at the Division of Senior Services Satellite Office on Budd Boulevard in West Deptford on 10:00am to 12:00 noon.
Due to the limited amount of fans, and under the guidelines set forth by the Older Americans Act, fans will only be given to seniors 60 and above with low income possessing a PAAD (Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled) or Medicaid card. For more information, please call the Division of Senior Services at (856)232-4646.
Freeholder Reed, liaison to the Department of Health and Senior Services, said "So many of us take our air conditioning for granted, but we have many seniors with no air conditioning in their homes." Reed said, "These are the people most at risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Often, heat-related illnesses are preventable, and fans help by keeping air circulating," said Freeholder Reed.
Freeholder Reed said that the county's Department of Health and Senior Services recommends the following actions for all county residents to stay safe in the heat:
- Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day. Proper hydration is very important to ward off heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
- If possible, reduce physical activity or reschedule it for cooler times of the day.
- Wear loose and light-colored clothing. When in the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen to all exposed skin and wear a hat or head covering.
- If you do not have air conditioning in your home, take advantage of any air-conditioned shelters such as libraries, movies, malls, schools or other publicly accessible buildings during the hottest hours of the day.
- Take care not to overdress children and to give them plenty of liquids to drink throughout the day. Children under age five, particularly those under age one, are especially sensitive to the effects of heat.
- Check on elderly relatives and neighbors to see if they need help taking proper heat precautions, or if they need medical attention because of the heat. Make sure individuals who are bedridden or have mobility problems have adequate fluids within easy reach.
- Don't leave children, a frail elderly or disabled person or pets in an enclosed car -- not even for a minute -- as temperatures can quickly climb to dangerous levels.
- Talk to your health care provider about any medicine or drugs you are taking. Certain medications -- such as tranquilizers and drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease -- can increase the risk of heat-related illness.