Seniors who have a hard time getting around can be especially at risk when the Milwaukee summer soars into the 90’s and 100’s. A program at the Social Development Commission (SDC) is helping keep a number of those seniors safe and cool during the sweltering heat.
The Senior Companions Program of SDC matches seniors with residents who are homebound to regularly check on them and help them with simple tasks like shopping or walks. During the recent heat wave, their visits took on an even more important role… that of checking on the health of their clients and making sure they were coping with the hot weather.
One Senior Companion, Joyce Davis, visited Lena Edgeston at her apartment on Appleton Avenue to make sure Lena was doing well. Ms. Davis noted that Lena had recently had a problem with her air conditioner that she was able to identify during a visit and get fixed. During her most recent visit, she checked to make sure it was still running properly and keeping Lena’s apartment cool. Joyce also asked Lena if she was drinking enough water so she would stay hydrated in the heat. The visit was the feature of a news story by Nick Bohr of WISN News.
Ms. Davis’ visit with Lena is typical of how Senior Companions check on the well-being of their homebound friends during severe weather. Senior Companions are trained by SDC on what to look for to make sure their senior clients are healthy and coping well with the extreme weather.
The SDC Senior Companions Program is funded in part by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the State of Wisconsin. The program has been credited by local aging officials with allowing senior homebound residents to remain in their own homes and apartments much longer and to avoid having to move into extended care giving situations. To learn more about the program, visit the SDC website at www.cr-sdc.org, click on the “Programs” page, and then on the link for “Senior Companions”.