The Louisiana Department of Health says seniors are more prone to heat-related illness — where the heat index is topping 110 degrees.
The Lafayette Council on Aging has over 8,000 registered clients. Many of them receive services through the council.
Executive Director Kelly Richard says there’s an urgent need for fans and air conditioning units. A senior without a cooling system during a heat wave is in danger. “We get a few private donations but not enough for the need we have. We have people call on a regular basis looking for these items.”
Richard says it’s the Meals on Wheels drivers and case managers in the field who report back on the needs of seniors. “The heat index this past week was a 113. This could be deadly for our elderly.”
Local resident Maci Mouton has seniors in her family she has to check on. She realizes the heat dangers are even worse for them. “They may need help. They may need water and things of that nature,” Mouton states.
Scott Police Chief Chad Leger has a “Just Checking on You” program. The chief says anyone can call the police department to have a senior or family member put on the list. “Tell us if you want us to check on that person once a week, every few weeks or once a month.”
The chief says if the calls go unanswered, then a patrol car will be sent out. He says it’s the same call program that was used during the ice storm last year.
Leger expects the call system to be a help for seniors and those most vulnerable during a heat wave. “We just want to make sure our elderly are taken care of,” the chief adds.
To request help, call the Cajun Area Agency on Aging at 337-572-8940.