To help senior citizens beat the heat this summer, the Camden County Freeholder Board is once again distributing free fans to seniors. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Division of Senior and Disabled Services will be hosting a contactless drive-thru distribution on Wednesday, July 15, beginning at 11 a.m., where qualifying seniors can receive their fan while maintaining social distance.
Camden County residents ages 60 and older with an income of $25,000 or less are eligible.
“Many senior citizens are living in homes without air conditioning or other means of cooling,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Division of Senior Services. “This is a problem which is exacerbated now that we’re asking residents to stay home as much as possible, and places where folks can usually congregate indoors are closed or facing significant limitations on operating capacity. This makes home cooling even more important, and these fans will become even more vital for our senior citizens.”
Fans will be distributed directly across the street from the Health Department’s campus located at 512 Lakeland Road in Gloucester Township. All participants must wear a mask while receiving their fan and practice social distancing when applicable.
During the hottest days of summer, senior citizens should wear lightweight clothing and avoid strenuous activity in the hot sun or in other hot areas. Those taking regular medication should consult with their physician to ensure that it is still safe to do so. Some medications cause an adverse reaction in hot weather. Seniors should be sure to drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids, warm and cool, to avoid dehydration.
The early warning signs of heat stress are decreased energy, slight loss of appetite, faintness, light-headedness and nausea. People experiencing these symptoms should go to a cool environment, drink liquids, remove excess clothing and rest.
Serious signs of heat stress include unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, throbbing headache, dry skin, chest pain, mental confusion, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, staggering and difficulty breathing. People experiencing these symptoms should get to immediate medical attention. While waiting for help, move the person to a cool area, remove excess clothing, spray with water, and fan the person. In an emergency, dial 911.
“The pandemic has changed how we deliver these services, but we are making sure that seniors have access to the resources they need to stay cool and to stay safe this summer,” Rodriguez said. “We are prepared to distribute up to 500 fans to seniors free of charge based on the need in our community. If you are an eligible senior, please join us on July 15 so that you can get the tools you need to beat the heat.”
To obtain more information, please call the Camden County Division of Senior Services at (856) 858-3220.