Meals on Wheels checks on seniors during heat advisory

San AntonioEDITORS NOTE: A previous version of this story identified “Comfy Casas” as a separate organization to Meals on Wheels instead of as a Meals on Wheels program. The error has been corrected.

With a heat advisory lasting until 8 p.m. Monday, San Antonio’s summer is off to a hot and potentially dangerous start for some of its most vulnerable residents -- seniors.

With that danger in mind, Meals on Wheels volunteers keep an eye on the seniors who make up the majority of their nearly 4,300 clients. Many of the seniors receiving the meals either don’t have air-conditioning or they have inadequate A/C, according to the nonprofit.

CEO Vinsen Faris says they try to warn seniors ahead of time to take precautions, like keeping hydrated and the air circulating in their house. But when the hot temperatures arrive, volunteers pay attention to their clients when delivering meals to their homes.

“What do people look like? What do they sound like? Is, you know -- is there a possible heat stroke going on there?” Faris said. “Just simply by the way people respond and what they see. Are their words slurred, or are they having difficulty communicating?”

Though the older homes, in which many of their clients live, weren’t made with air conditioning, Faris says window units have developed to the point that even the old wiring can handle it. Keeping air circulating with a fan is also important, he said.

The nonprofit has also been working through its Comfy Casas service to provide fans and air-conditioning units to seniors in need. To receive services, though, you must be receiving meals from Meals on Wheels San Antonio. Click here to sign up.

If you know a senior, Faris suggests checking in on them to make sure their fans and air conditioning are working and that they’re staying cool in the hot weather.

About the Author:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.