Friday, June 29, 2012

COLUMN: In this extreme heat, it is important to be a good neighbor

By DIANE HENTGES, Director of the Volunteer Center/RSVP of the United Way of Wyandotte County

During these extremely hot days we all need to be good neighbors. Check on those in your neighborhood who live alone.

Are they as cool as can be? Are they using their fans or air conditioners? Do they have a fan? Do they need to spend the day at a cooling center?

The public libraries, Salvation Army, YMCA’s, community centers, city hall; to name just a few, all offer visitors a cool place during the heat of the day.

For more information on cooling centers in the metro area you can call 211 or 816-474-5112 from a cell phone. There are limited programs that can provide fans to those who qualify. Calling 211 will be able to direct you to the appropriate programs.

Make sure everyone is well-hydrated during this heat. This is especially important with the elderly and the very young. Take your neighbor a pitcher of ice water and make sure they drink a glass or two while you visit.

Eat smaller meals and eat more often, just remember to eat. We often don’t feel like eating in the heat. This is especially important for those who live alone; it is very easy to skip meals. Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day.

Don’t forget our four-legged friends. If possible, bring the animals in or at a minimum provide a shaded area with access to plenty of water. Make sure that bird bath is filled for the our feathered friends.


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