Hot days especially brutal on elderly and sick - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hot days especially brutal on elderly and sick

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - When the heat rises, Roma Jean Dicken stays indoors.

"I get the west sun on my porch in the afternoon, so there's no way I can sit out on the porch in the afternoon," said Dicken. "If I want to sit out on the porch, it has to be in the morning or after the sun goes down."

Each weekday, Dicken waits by her door for her Meals on Wheels delivery. If she's not there, volunteers follow-up.

"That's kind of nice, because if I fall or something then somebody would find me, or if I don't answer the door," said Dicken.

For those that are more vulnerable to heat, like the elderly and those with medical conditions, extremely hot days can be brutal.

A lot of seniors are on fixed incomes, and some can't afford air conditioning -- putting them at risk for health problems.

That's where phone calls or visits come in. For some seniors, that well-being check is already built in to their day, thanks to Meals on Wheels.

"People, because they're on a fixed income, are very conservative with their money," said Dianna Young, Horizons Meals on Wheels Director. "They don't run their air conditioner unless they absolutely have to. So there will be some folks today as we go around to deliver meals that we'll really have to encourage to turn on their air conditioning, at least for today."

But if that's not an option, volunteers make sure each person at least has a fan. If they don't, they help to get one to each senior in need. 

Organizations like The Salvation Army and The Crisis Center of Johnson County help get fans to people who need them -- and are currently looking for donations.

Pools and splash pads also offer places to cool off.

If you're looking for somewhere with air conditioning, emergency management agencies recommend public places like libraries or malls. You can also try calling 211 to find somewhere in your community.

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