WSAZ | Huntington, West Virginia | News

Seniors Suffering with No Air Conditioning

By: Carrie Cline Email
By: Carrie Cline Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- This stifling heat is especially hard on seniors. Senior citizens don't sweat as much and their bodies tend to overheat more quickly. Add to that no air conditioning and you have a recipe for danger!!

“I just never grew up that way,” Dorothy Miller .

Dorothy Miller grew up in simpler times with simple things. She never drove a car. She's never owned a cell phone and she's never had air conditioning.

“I never cared for it,” Miller said.

Miller, 82, simply doesn't want air conditioning. She has an air conditioner -- it's on the bedroom floor unplugged. Her son bought her that and plenty of fans.

But, as is common with many seniors, Miller really doesn't feel the heat like the rest of us.

At Huntington's Cecil Underwood Senior Center, JaneAnne Frulla goes over tips that are specific to the seniors that others may not think of.

Senior centers throughout the region provide the perfect place for folks to stop in and cool off.

“You can come in, enjoy our company and get cool,” Pat Fields said.

Ellen Aten has a different challenge -- she has air conditioning, but no transportation. When she needs a few household items from the corner market, she has no choice but to brave the heat.

“It can be difficult at times," Aten said. It can be. I'm just glad the dollar store and marathon are close by when I need a few things.”

At Miller's home, her son brought out one of the fans.

“She’ll unplug this as soon as I leave the house," Breeze Hale said. "I feel like I'm going to come here and she's going to be dead. I worry about that. But, there ain't nothing I can do. I was determined to bring down the fan even though she didn't want me to bring it down here. I think it's crazy, but that's my mother."

Breeze and other family and church members check on Miller throughout the day.

That's a good tip -- the buddy system. Make sure seniors have a good network of folks checking in on them to make sure they're OK. If a senior doesn't have air conditioning and wants it, they can call their local social service agency for help.


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