BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — With the Louisiana summer heat in full swing, it’s important to remember to check on elderly neighbors.
Many senior citizens live on tight budgets and cannot afford an expensive electric bill. This could lead to overheating and other serious health issues.
“Their incomes are usually very fixed,” said Tamara Crane, Executive Director Bossier Council on Aging. “They really do have to balance their budgets and lots of times make decisions on: do I run my AC, do I pay for medicines, do I buy some food?”
The Bossier Council on Aging is there to help, supplying free fans to any Bossier senior citizen who needs it.
“That’s been a nice deal because the seniors – basically they’ll sit there and maybe can’t afford air conditioning, but the fan is a blessing,” said Linda Brangham, who has been visiting the council for six years. “There’s just something about air blowing on you, even if it’s not really cold air, it still helps to keep that body temperature down.”
If any elderly residents need help paying their utility bills, the council can lead them in the right direction to get the assistance they need.
“If the senior center themselves don’t offer some kind of utility type assistance, they can get them guided there. We certainly don’t want a senior to risk having their utilities cut off right now, not running their AC because of that,” Crane said.
Bossier Parish seniors come to the center to not only cool off but also look out for one other.
“This is another program that just tries to get you to interact, and you become more compassionate to those that don’t and you start checking on them, and from there basically you make a friend,” Brangham said. “The council on aging has been a blessing. Met a lot of nice people and keeps you active, it keeps you interacting with other people, too, and not just sitting by yourself when you become a senior.”
Although the council’s activities are reduced due to COVID-19, there’s somewhere to go and something to do, almost every day. Head to the Bossier Council of Aging website to find a list of events and the closest senior center to you.