Meals on Wheels also delivers fans to seniors

In addition to hot meals, home-bound seniors get cool relief

SAN ANTONIO – We haven't hit the triple digits yet, but it sure feels like it out there and the hot weather can be especially dangerous for the elderly.

This summer, Meals on Wheels is doing more than just providing hot meals for seniors. They're helping them beat the heat.

Meals on Wheels is one of several programs offered by Christian Senior Services. During the hot summer months, the organization gives out fans to meal recipients who need them.

"So it's a lot more than just the food. We want to make sure that they're OK and this time of year is the hottest time of the year," said Woody Woodward, marketing director for Christian Senior Services.

A lot of their clients are homebound and for many of them, the person dropping off their food is the only person they'll see all day.

So volunteers check on them and make sure they're OK and comfortable.

"Part of these safety checks would include noticing a senior's home is unreasonably warm and then (requesting that) a fan get delivered out to them," said Woodward.

Volunteers hand out the standard, 20-inch box fans, but Meals on Wheels officials are accepting any type of fans as long as they're simple and easy to set up.

"You just take them out and plug them in and they're ready to go," said Henry Cuellar, a senior who received a fan.

Cuellar's volunteer noticed he needed a fan a few weeks ago set up the delivery right away.

"It helps you quite a bit. It really does. It makes a difference," said Cuellar.

More than a hundred fans have been delivered to seniors like Cuellar this summer.

For more information, contact Christian Senior Services at 210-735-5115 or visit www.samow.org.

SAFD's heat injury prevention tips

  • The San Antonio Fire Department has issued these tips on avoiding heat-related injuries and keeping your family safe:
  • Keep hydrated! Drink water every half hour, even if you don't feel thirsty. Limit caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid sudden changes in temperature (for instance, air out your vehicle before entering.)
  • NEVER leave a child or a pet unattended in a vehicle, even for a short period of time!
  • Try to stay in the shade between noon and 4:00 p.m. as much as possible. If you must be in the sun, take frequent breaks to cool off.
  • If the temperature is very high, reduce your outdoor activities to fifteen minutes at a time.
  • Know the symptoms of heat related injury which may include headache, dizziness, nausea, or pale skin.

If you recognize any of these symptoms in someone immediately move them to a cooler environment. Spray or sponge cool water onto their skin. If attempts to relieve symptoms fail or if vomiting and the appearance of sleepiness occur, call 911 for emergency medical assistance.