RSVP Says Check on Elderly Relatives, Neighbors

Participants with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program are checking with local senior citizens daily. Without this service, program officials say some elderly would likely not be able to survive the extreme heat.

We caught up with RSVP volunteer Kathleen Jordan as she visited senior citizens in our community.

"How's your air working? Is your air working all right?" she asked Meridian resident Berniece Hill, who said yes.

"This is one of the reasons you check. They'll say, 'I've got air', but it's covered up. It's not working," said Jordan.

Although this air conditioner was covered, the homeowner assured us that she has a larger one inside her house. However, that wasn't the case at Jordan's next stop.

"These are where the knobs should be, but the knobs are not working," said Jordan, pointing to the unit. "Consequently, if she turns this on, it won't turn on."

"You see, around about one o'clock, I'll be burning up," said Meridian resident Ruth Baskin. "It gets hot and I'll have the ceiling fan on and I turn that old air conditioner on."

''A lot of times when I come by, she is sitting on the porch because of the cool air out on the porch," said Jordan. "But you can only stay on the porch so long."

Although the air conditioner at the front of the house is broken, just as with Hill, Baskin says there is a second air conditioner in her house.

Because many senior citizens don't have air conditioners, they are broken or they're afraid to use them because of the cost, RSVP officials say each one of the program's 218 volunteers commit to checking on elderly residents weekly.

"All of our volunteers call and check on other seniors in the community," said Diana Glover, RSVP director. "They check on them in the nursing homes. They check on them in their homes. They visit with them."

"We call them every day or every week at least. If we don't hear from them, we go and see why," Jordan said.

Jordan says if each one reaches one, all seniors will be taken care of everywhere.

To arrange for an RSVP volunteer to check on an elderly resident call the Meridian office at (601) 482-0512.

Most the volunteers are in Lauderdale County. However, there are also some in Clarke and Newton counties as well.


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