Check on your neighbors
Not everyone can afford central air conditioning for their homes.
And not everyone can tolerate the summer heat well enough to leave their air-conditioned homes for necessities like groceries.
So keep an eye out this summer for neighbors who might be living without air conditioning or who are elderly or have medical conditions.
Medical experts say the following symptoms could mean your neighbor is suffering from a heat-related illness: confusion; fatigue or weakness; mail piling up outdoors when they’re at home.
Anyone can suffer from heat stroke if they get too hot or from dehydration if they don’t drink enough water. But elderly or sick neighbors have a higher risk.
If you can:
- Call or visit an at-risk neighbor twice a day.
- Invite the neighbor to stay with you in your air-conditioned home on the hottest days and even overnight if you have room.
- Remind your neighbor to drink plenty of water. Bring pitchers of cold water, lemonade and caffeine-free iced tea as gifts.
- Offer to do the grocery shopping for your neighbor or to drive him or her to the store.
- Find indoor events and community- or church-sponsored activities that the neighbor could participate in as a way to stay cool during the day.
- Know if your at-risk neighbor keeps pets inside. If so, tend to the animals as well by filling water bowls frequently and making sure plenty of pet food is on hand.
Research shows that just about 17 percent of us check on neighbors during the summer. Make your family one that increases that statistic.
If you know of someone in the SVEC service area in critical need of assistance in acquiring a fan or window air conditioner for health reasons, refer him/her to the Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative SVECares program at www.svalleyec.com under the “News and Resources” tab.