JABA Program Aims to Keep the Elderly Cool in Summer Months - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

JABA Program Aims to Keep the Elderly Cool in Summer Months

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If your air conditioning is on right now, consider yourself lucky. A lot of people don't have it.

That's a problem the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) is trying to fix with its summer Fan Care program. They're giving out fans to senior citizens in the area who don't have AC.

For those living in especially sweltering conditions, they may be eligible for an AC unit or help paying their bill. JABA says it's all about keeping people safe.

"We have fans and a limited number of air conditioners available to people who are over 60 and income eligible,” said Michael Costanzo, resource counseling manager at JABA.

The program is already underway and it runs until the end of September. JABA is asking for the public to help donate fans. To donate, click here.

Jefferson Area Board for Aging Press Release

Charlottesville, VA (June 9, 2014)--- JABA has announced this year’s dates for its annual Fan Care program, which began June 1 and will run until September 30, 2014. “Our emphasis again this summer is on helping income-eligible members of the community aged 60 and above stay comfortable without overloading their electric bills,” says Advocacy Services Director, Ginger Dillard. “We will be providing primarily fans purchased with funds from Dominion Electric’s Fan Care program.”

Dangers of Heat

The need is real for this basic cooling assistance. In the United States, each year, more people die from “excessive heat events” (where temperatures rise 10 degrees Fahrenheit or more for an extended period) than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined.The Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises that older adults are more vulnerable to heat related illnesses due to physical changes. Chronic diseases and prescription medications greatly add to the risk.

Because early intervention can be a lifesaver, JABA urges people to check on their neighbors during heat events.

Low-cost/no-cost ways recommended by the CDC for coping with the heat include: 

  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Rest.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • If possible, seek an air-conditioned environment,such as a shopping mall or public library, or one of JABA’s seven community centers.
  • Wear lightweight clothing.
  • If possible, remain indoors in the heat of the day.
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities.

JABA’s 2014 Fan Care program runs from June 1 to September 30. In certain critical instances, JABA may also be able to provide air conditioners or limited amounts of financial assistance with electrical bills in addition to fans.  Applicants must be 60 years of age or older and meet certain income eligibility requirements and have a medical need. The program is available to those who qualify in the city of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson.

How to Help

While funding for the program comes from a variety of sources in addition to Dominion VA Power, it would not be possible without the help of donors. A donation of $20 will buy a fan; $150 an energy efficient air conditioner; and $200 will help an at-risk senior keep the electricity on at home. JABA also accepts donations of new air conditioners and fans provided they are in their original boxes with warranty cards.

To apply for assistance, learn more about JABA’s Fan Care program or to make a donation, contact JABA at (434) 817-5222, or visit www.jabacares.org.

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