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Seniors Vulnerable to Heat

Posted on June 22, 2010

George Grant is a 69-year-old man who takes care of his mother as best he can. With the temperate approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit lately in Florida, the temperature inside his Northside home was up to 91 degrees. That’s the best the three window air conditioning units can do since the house does not have much insulation.

The elderly are especially at risk for high heat and with the cost of electricity, there is not much that most people can do. That’s what happened to Emma Watson, 102. JEA had cut her power and she had no air conditioning and no water. She had been on a payment plan with JEA but stopped paying and had more than $2,000 in unpaid bills. Embarrassed when her story was in The Florida Times-Union, JEA credited her all but $300 assuming there was a leak because of her high water use. Her power and water is now back on after help from a charity associated with the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters.

For other seniors, help is available through ElderSource at 888-242-4464. JEA is extremely fortunate that this woman was found before she became the first statistic of the season. With limited mobility some elderly do not adjust well in the heat and can suffer heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Local hospitals are seeing some of those cases come in during our hot spell.

If you or a loved one has been adversely affected by this heat and your power has been turned off and you have been left in dire circumstances, you would be well advised to consult with a Jacksonville personal injury attorney about your rights and we’ll see what we can do to help.