Local businesses doing welfare checks on elderly during heat wave

Local businesses doing welfare checks on elderly during heat wave

With temperatures reaching upward of 90 degrees this week, local businesses are taking it upon themselves to reach out to elderly people in the community and make sure they’re doing OK.

Debra Anderson delivers prescriptions to customers at Fitchburg Family Pharmacy. While she is doing her regular duties, she does welfare checks at the same time.

“To be a good neighbor and deliver good health,” Anderson said. “I think it’s important that these people have somebody check up on them immediately. If not, we can contact their relative or contact their police and do a wellness check.”

Similarly, Nicole Schaefer, the program director of Sharing Active Independent Lives (SAIL), has been making calls to elderly patients all week.

“We have 500 members, and we have called close to all of them,” Schaefer said. “I think it really emphasizes what SAIL is here for. We are here to help them live independently, no matter what steps it means on our end.”

Schaefer said most of the time, the elderly people she checks in on are doing just fine. However, there are the rare few who do need assistance.

Schaefer said one call resulted in an elderly woman telling her she didn’t know how to turn on her air conditioning. Schaefer said her organization sent out a staff member to help her get her air conditioning working. In another call Schaefer took, she discovered one woman’s home was too hot, and a staff member was able to go to her home and provide her with additional fans to cool off.

If you know an elderly person, be sure to check in on them this week and the rest of the summer as the temperatures continue to climb.

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