Region 8 Seniors Looking to Beat Summer Heat - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Paragould, AR -- Heather Flanigan Reports

Region 8 Seniors Looking to Beat Summer Heat

July 25, 2005 – Posted at 3:29 p.m. CDT

PARAGOULD, AR -- With temperatures reaching in the upper 90's and the heat index in many parts of Region 8 well into the 100's, folks are taking every precaution to stay safe. Keeping to the indoors and drinking lots of water can help, but for some Region 8 elderly, it's vital.

“It’s too hot for senior citizens, you know it for our age to be out, that's the reason we stay in and take it easy,” said 84-year-old Maxine Martin, who is beating the heat at the Senior B.E.E.S 12 th Street Senior Center in Paragould, “It's cool out here in the air condition. I think a lot of them come out because it is a cool place to be.”

 The free air conditioning, however, is a big drawl.

“I get away from the house and be out here where it's cool,” said Dorris Forbis, who spent the day quilting to escape the heat.

“A lot of them come over to get out of the heat, and a lot of them don't keep their air conditioning set as cool as it is in here,” said site manager Ernie Barnett.

The Greene County Senior B.E.E.S “Meals on Wheels” program serves about 200 meals a day.  Officials say it's really an opportunity for them to check in on seniors who might be home alone in this heat.

“If we go in and we find one that maybe they don't have their air conditioner on or they don't have any fans running, then we try to contact a family member to maybe go over and see if they can get the air conditioner going,” said transportation director Carolyn Martin.

Officials will also find seniors relief through the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging, but believe it or not, Barnett says some of the seniors actually enjoy the hot weather.

“People are really, really cold natured, especially in the elderly, and they just don't like the cold, cold air,” laughed Barnett.

Doors open at the Senior B.E.E.S. 12th Street Senior Center at 6:30 every morning and officials say anyone over 60 is welcome.

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