June 21, 2006
It's an issue that comes around every summer and with temperatures like Wednesday's, the need for cooling devices is a serious one. For some residents, this summer would be unbearable if it weren't for the help of a few organizations and the generosity of fellow citizens.
"Jaba has a program where we raise funds and have fund raising activities to provide a more flexible program where we focus specifically on individuals who may have a medical need for cooling assistance," said Musa Ansari, Regional Manager for case management at JABA.
JABA'S "Cool Aid" program consists of providing fans for people, offering cooling appliances (such an air conditioners), and repairing damaged equipment. The program concentrates mainly on the elderly since they are the most susceptible to the hot temperatures.
"When an elderly individual is exposed to heat for a long time, part of what happens is that as the moisture is leaving their body and they're becoming weaker, their awareness of the condition also is altered," Ansari continued.
Matthew Borloz from the Albemarle-Charlottesvile Rescue Squad agrees that the elderly are at a higher risk and should be aware of what's associated with a heat stroke.
"Some of those symptoms might be nausea, getting extremely tired, in the more advanced stages, you might see alterations in somebody's mental status like they might get confused, they might start seeing things, or they might actually even pass out," Borloz warned.
The City of Charlottesville also has a "Cooling Assistance" program that is based on income situation rather than medical need alone.
To learn more about either of these programs, you can visit JABA at www.jabacares.org or the "Cooling Assistance" website at www.charlottesville.org.