Heat causes issues for elderly; urged to check in on them

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)–Temperatures are rising this week and with that comes a greater risk to the elderly population.

As the weather gets hotter, those who care for the elderly said it’s more important to check in on the senior citizens in your life. Julie Carnegie-Reams with Comfort Keepers said it’s important to treat the elderly as people while addressing their needs.

“Seniors have some unique challenges, but remember they’re individuals,” Reams said.

She also said keeping the elderly hydrated is especially important and emphasized the significance of making sure they drink water along with other drinks during the day.

“If you’re around a senior that really loves coffee, make sure it’s a sip of coffee and a sip of water,” Reams said.

She also stressed that some seniors might prefer fruit-flavored water or eating water-rich foods such as fruits.

“[It’s important to] encourage seniors to eat foods that are hydrating, such as cucumbers, watermelons, and grapes,” Reams said.

Peoria’s Neighborhood House is providing fresh food delivery to over 900 seniors in Peoria and Tazewell County. The Chief Operating Officer, Bryna Ryan, said these seniors get fresh meals five days a week with the program and are receiving care regularly.

“But that wellness check is more important than the meal right now. or just as important,” Ryan said.

Both women also said seniors living on their own in single-family homes might experience issues with their air conditioning and encouraged residents to frequently check on their neighbors.

“It’s definitely vital to check up on your neighbors,” Ryan said. “A lot of people don’t have relatives that live near them all the time or especially during COVID, they may not be able to check-in as often.”

Ryan said Neighborhood House is always available for food delivery services and can lend a helping hand in supporting those that need it the most.

“If it’s not something we can do, we always refer to 2-1-1 with United Way and they can obviously hook up those services if they don’t have them,” Ryan said.

Comfort Keepers in Peoria off Sheridan Road also said they can provide resources to senior citizens who might have family far away.

“We can facilitate having a service come out and make sure that the air conditioning is working properly,” Reams said.

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