Whether living alone, or in an assisted living community, elderly residents of the Wabash Valley need to be particularly careful in the heat. But they're not on their own. Different organizations have ways to help keep seniors safe.
On a hot day, the chairs that are usually full outside of Westminster Village are empty. The senior residents are spending their time inside, away from the heat. They're enjoying card games, the library, and using the indoor exercise facilities instead. It's all for comfort, and for safety.
"The fact that they're so fragile at their age is first and foremost. To stay cool: Stay hydrated, stay inside and stay happy," said Westminster Village Marketing Director PJ Whitney.
Hot weather is especially dangerous for the elderly. Those who live in assisted living communities like Westminster have extra eyes out to make sure no one is put at risk.
"We're well aware of people's regular schedule. If somebody's not where we expect them to be when they usually are, then we do check on them," said Whitney.
But not all senior citizens have that assistance. Some live at home. And that's when the rest of the community has to step up and make sure everything is okay.
"We're one of the few people that a lot of our recipients have any contact with at all during the day," explained Meals on Wheels volunteer Michael Tingley.
Volunteer drivers for Meals on Wheels do more than just drop off food. Especially on a hot day.
"We're always aware of how they're living and whether it's too hot or too cold. You know, whether their heat works in the winter and whether they have air-conditioning or a fan."
And many go above and beyond even that.
"I usually ask if they have any other family members in town or anyone else who is going to visit and if they're going to be alone all day, sometimes I'll check back again later," added Tingely.
If a volunteer goes to the door and there is no answer, the first step is to call the office to makes sure there wasn't a schedule change. Then the office tries to call the resident. If there's no answer, the next call is to emergency responders
Because senior citizens are at more risk from the heat, residents are always encouraged to check in on elderly neighbors or relatives. First they call the office to make sure there wasn't a schedule change