Keeping senior citizens cool across the Wiregrass

Local News

GENEVA, Ala. (WDHN) — With a heat index of more than 100-degrees in Geneva, these conditions could prove especially deadly for the most vulnerable populations such as the very young and old.

Geneva Senior Center Director Robbie Owens says the vast majority of her members have air-conditioning in their homes, but there are those with limited funds who come into the facility as a cooling station. Most of the members have a friend who is fighting the extreme heat alone in a non-air-conditioned house or apartment.

“It’s real tough for them in this heat being able to make it at home alone by themselves,” senior citizen Delois Tyrues said.

Another resident at the center echoed a similar sentiment.

“People don’t trust one another like when we were growing up. You have to keep your windows shut to make sure nobody comes in,” senior citizen Gwen Byrd said.

Several members that WDHN spoke with said they do have friends that don’t have to air-condition, or they don’t run it to save on the electric bill.

“A lot of the seniors don’t have air or they’re afraid to run it because they’re on limited income,” Center Director Robbie Owens said. “That’s why we do energy assistance and help all our members with that.”

Earlier this week, the center held a memorial service to those members that passed away due to the pandemic during the shutdown, members could not attend visitations and most funerals.

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