Helping the Elderly
Good Samaritans Come to the Rescue of an Elderly Woman
In early August, an elderly woman was driving along a busy road in Woodhaven, Michigan, when she realized she had a flat tire. The woman, referred to only as Ms. Jacqueline, was in potential danger since her car was stopped in heavy traffic on West Road.
Maria Cerroni Smith and her daughter drove by and saw Ms. Jacqueline’s flat tire. Concerned that she could get hit by another car, Smith said she pulled into a nearby parking lot and called to report Ms. Jacqueline’s car trouble.
But, before the police arrived, three Good Samaritans had moved Ms. Jacqueline’s car out of traffic and got her out of harm’s way. Jamal Hill, Martel Sipman, and Michael Martinez then took off the flat tire and replaced it with a spare tire Ms. Jacqueline had in her car. If that wasn’t enough, the three men followed her to a gas station and put more air in the spare tire, which was low.
The Woodhaven Police Department did not want the actions of the three Good Samaritans to go unnoticed. The department took to its social media page to commend Hill, Sipman, and Martinez:
“The world needs more people such as yourself,” the department’s social media post said about the three men.
Lindsey Bohl, Ms. Jacqueline’s granddaughter, said she would want to get in contact with Hill, Sipman, and Martinez. In a post on the police department’s website, Bohl said she wanted to thank “these wonderful gentlemen” for helping her grandmother.
In addition to Bohl, more than 100 people posted messages thanking the three men for stopping to help rather than driving past Ms. Jacqueline.
Help Seniors Stay Safe During The Summer Heat
Have you wondered why it feels like a steam bath every time you visit your elderly family member on hot summer days? Do you see your elderly neighbor sitting on the porch for long periods of time when it’s very hot? It could be that your neighbor does not have a fan or an air conditioner, or your elderly family member has an air conditioner but it needs repair.
States are recording record-high temperatures this summer and health experts advise the public to check on older adults, whether relatives, neighbors, or friends.
Generally, older adults do not adjust well to hot weather because they are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). What’s more, the prescription medications older adults take are more likely to affect the body’s ability to control its temperature or sweat, the CDC added.
Air conditioning systems and fans keep a house cool during heatwaves. But, many seniors on a fixed income do not run their air conditioners or fans to avoid paying high electric bills or they may believe they cannot afford to have a cooling unit installed. After all, with a limited income, seniors may have to choose between staying cool and buying food and prescription medications each month.
During the sweltering heat, it’s important to check on older adult family members and elderly neighbors to make sure they keep cool and stay hydrated. This could be as simple as buying them cases of bottled water so that they will have it on hand.
When it comes to reducing the risk for heat-related illness, the National Institute on Aging advises seniors to:
- Drink plenty of liquids, such as water or fruit or vegetable juices to fend off a heat-related illness.
- Try to keep homes without air conditioning or fans as cool as possible by limiting the use of the oven, keeping shades, blinds or curtains closed during the hottest part of the day and opening windows at night.
- Spend time during midday in a place with air conditioning, such as a shopping mall, movies, senior center, library, or a friend’s house.
Family members may need to meet with their loved ones and come up with a plan for upgrading the cooling system or purchasing fans for different rooms in the house.
It’s also helpful to connect older adults to local resources, such as senior centers, community organizations, or the local Area Agency on Aging that offer home services to seniors.
Like everyone else, older adults like surprises. So, gifting an elderly neighbor or a family member with a box fan or stand fan will go a long way in helping the seniors endure the summer heat.
Gastonia Group’s Home Repairs Is An Answer to Prayer for Seniors and People With Disabilities
Smart home devices work well in the homes of older adults who want to age in place. But, tech firms have yet to create a device that can mow the lawn and paint the house.
Fortunately, seniors and people with disabilities in Gastonia, North Carolina, can get hard work and heavy lifting done with help from Carolina Cross Connection (CCC), a Christian-based nonprofit organization. CCC volunteers have been repairing homes at no cost for the past 33 years. The organization funds home repair projects through donations.
CCC volunteers, which include local college students, do a variety of inside and outside work, such as:
- Building wheelchair ramps, porches, and steps
- Yard work, mowing, weeding, and raking
- Painting inside and outside of homes
- House cleaning and window washing
CCC is a godsend to seniors who cannot do these labor-intensive jobs themselves. One couple said CCC volunteers who built a wheelchair ramp access onto their home were an answer to prayer since it will make it easier for the wife to get in and out of the house.
Volunteer Justis Mitchell said his six-person crew has finished five ramps, a redocking project, and a yard work project. But, volunteers don’t determine success by the number of projects they complete, but by the lives they change, Mitchell said.