The cold weather is tough on all of us, but it is especially tough for senior citizens. People over the age of 65 account for more than half of all hypothermia-related deaths. One local organization is working to change that statistic.
Senior Connections is a nonprofit that serves thousands of seniors across metro Atlanta every year. In these below-freezing temperatures, that includes keeping them warm. The organization offers a variety of free services to low-income seniors, including hot meals and home repairs.
Bill Morgan, the home repair manager with Senior Connections, said he sees a lot of broken furnaces and busted water pipes.
"If your house is not warm, it leads to busted pipes because they freeze up, and then you have even more of a problem."
According to the National Institutes of Health, even mildly cool homes, at 65 degrees and lower, can trigger hypothermia in older people.
"They'll try to keep their furnace down as low as possible to try to keep the cost down, and sometimes seniors may have circulation issues, so a combination of all those things can really put a senior at-risk," said Sally Eggleston, with Senior Connections.
She reminds everyone to check on their elderly neighbors and relatives. She said the organization helps as much as it can but the waiting list is long, and the money never lasts.
"We never have enough grant money, but we try to do as much as we can."
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