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“The toughest time of year for our seniors”

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Extreme heat can have tragic consequences on the elderly

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    Baldwin County Senior Center Executive Director Sabrina Holsey, at right wearing the green tee shirt, took some time earlier this week to instruct her clients on how to beat the heat and remain healthy during this time of year. PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN MCKEARNE

Wanda Addeo was scrolling through the news earlier this week when she saw a story out of Macon that definitely caught her attention.

Three elderly people around the city were found dead in their homes in a span of four days. All died of natural causes, according to Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones, although the office is working to determine if heat was a factor.

Heatwaves, like the one that hit middle Georgia this week, can be especially tough on seniors, according to Addeo, the executive director of Overview Inc., which oversees senior citizen services here in Baldwin County.

“I think that many people around here would be surprised at the number of folks in our community who still don’t have home air conditioning or reliable air conditioning,” said Addeo. It’s definitely a concern around this time of year.”

Another concern is seniors who are working in the yard or piddling around the yard during the warmweather months. For these reasons, Addeo said that it’s extremely important for people to check in with the older members of their family, especially those who may live alone. Overview Inc., in conjunction with the Baldwin County Senior Center, have protocols in place, but they can’t reach everyone, according to Addeo.

“Just try and call once a day just to check in,” she said. “And, if you can’t get in touch with them, drive over there.” Overview Inc. and

Overview Inc. and the Senior Center currently have 86 seniors who receive daily home-delivered meals and welfare checks. The Baldwin Senior Center also supplements that with phone calls.

“This time of year is the toughest time of year for our seniors. We’ve had some close calls over the years. It’s something that worries me a great deal,” said Executive Director Sabrina Holsey. “My advice to family members would be to call and check on your older loved ones. It really doesn’t take a lot of effort to make a phone call.”