Local Program Helps Hot Seniors Cool Off
GAINESVILLE - They're on a mission to help hot seniors cool off. According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, the CDC, elderly people those 65 years and older are more prone to heat stress. However, a local senior assisted home in North Central Florida is part of a nation-wide program sending staff out into the community to give seniors relief during these hot summer months.
"It's wonderfully refreshing and it does quench your thirst... But it's basically tasteless." We're talking about water. Barbara Ann Daggett a resident at Emeritus Senior Living says water may not be people's favorite drink but it's something she's constantly sipping on. "Oh, I am definitely a water drinker. In fact I do carry water with me wherever I go," she said. Why? Because Daggett is part of the age group that is more at risk of heat stress and she knows it. The CDC reports that 40 percent of heat-related deaths occur in those 65 and older.
Prem Murrhee the Executive Director for the Emeritus Senior Living said, "Dehydration is a serious thing. And in seniors it's actually more susceptible to dehydration than any one else. And during the summer months, it's the most dangerous time of all." With summer heating up, a nation-wide effort is underway to assist those who are among the most susceptible to its dangers. Emeritus at Gainesville and Emeritus at Ocala east are deploying their Shade Brigade program to help local seniors weather the high temperatures in coming weeks. Murrhee said, "Basically they're care packages and some are safety tips. We actually can go out to a senior's home and we give them a grab bag of a cooler, popsicles and water... And lots of things to keep seniors hydrated."
The Shade Brigade program is not just for seniors who reside here but seniors living anywhere within the area. The program's goal is to assist 5000 seniors in the upcoming weeks. Murrhee said, "Sometimes it's just a neighbor going hey my neighbor... I think she may need a little bit of help. You know give us a call, we'll be happy to go out and do that."
To suggest a senior for a visit by the Shade Brigade, call 352-378-3838 or 352-622-9696, or e-mail at: Shade@emeritus.com