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Meals on Wheels drivers help seniors prepare for heat wave

Drivers for Meals on Wheels will be doing extra check-ins for their clients over the next couple of days due to the anticipated heat wave.

SEATTLE — As temperatures climb into the 90s and even triple digits this weekend, it's a good time to check on your neighbors and make sure they have a way to stay cool. 

Drivers for Meals on Wheels started checking in on seniors they serve Friday ahead of the extreme heat that's expected to hit western Washington Saturday.

"A lot of people take care of kids and forget about our seniors," said Fai Mathews, who has been driving for Meals on Wheels for 14 years. "I really concern myself to their safety and their health and stuff like that, it’s really important to let them know that we’re here for them."

Mathews said Meals on Wheels drivers are checking for everything when out on deliveries from signs of abuse to health issues -- and in times of extreme weather events they can also help seniors get items they may need for their home, such as portable fans. 

"We've been able to help them get fans... and then when we see a place that isn't air conditioned and stuff like that, we can turn that into our program called Pathways, and then they can call and check on them," said Mathews. 

Meals on Wheels drivers are doing extra check-ins with clients over the next few days due to the heat wave and reporting anyone who is either having a hard time with the heat or is anticipating that they will have a hard time.

People are encouraged to check on their elderly neighbors who may have a harder time dealing with the heat. 

The Washington State Department of Health shared a few tips for staying safe during hot weather events:

  • Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible unless you're sure your body has a high tolerance for heat.
  • Drink plenty of fluids but avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar.
  • Eat more frequently but make sure meals are balanced and light.
  • Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle.
  • Plan strenuous outdoor activities for early or late in the day when temperatures are cooler; then gradually build up tolerance for warmer conditions.
  • At first signs of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps), move to a cooler location, rest for a few minutes and slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if you do not feel better.

Click here for more hot weather safety tips from the DOH.

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