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WHAT Project Cool Catholic Charities provides free box fans are to seniors.
WHYTo help older adults who may not have access to air conditioning stay cool and prevent heat related illnesses, heat stroke, other health complications and fatalities that may be triggered by extreme heat.
WHERECatholic Charities Archdiocese of San Antonio.
City of San Antonio Department of Human Services.
San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Program Description

“Summer months June through August inflict considerably high temperatures and humidity in San Antonio. Seniors living in homes without air conditioning or circulating air face a greater risk of heat-related injuries and fatalities during the summer.”

Older adults are more susceptible to heat-related illness during heat waves and extreme summer temperatures.

Project Cool provides free 20-inch box fans in San Antonio.

In addition to providing protection from high temperatures by providing free fans the program aims to provide a low-cost, low-energy way to keep seniors cool without older adults having to pay high utility bills.

Seniors must be 55 years of age or older to receive a free fan.

Those looking for how to help seniors during the summer or heat waves can donate a free fans to seniors by purchasing box fans which usually cost between $20 and $30 and dropping them of at one of the following locations:

Catholic Charities, Guadalupe Community Center or St. Stephen’s CARE Center, San Antonio Fire Stations except the San Antonio International Airport Fire Station.

Project Cool also accepts monetary donations which go towards purchasing free fans for seniors.

Catholic Charities works to advocate for the most vulnerable focusing on self-sufficiency, social justice, social teaching and community service. 

Heat exposure can cause dizziness, nausea, cramps, skin rash, rapid pulse, edema swelling and rapid or even slow pulse.

The National Institute on Aging cites that older adults are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses and death due to:

• Health problems such as cardiovascular, lung, or kidney disease.
• Changes in skin caused by normal aging.
• Any illness that causes weakness or results in a fever.
• Taking drugs such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, and some heart and high blood pressure medicines that may make it harder for the body to cool itself.
• Being on several prescription drugs at the same time.
• Having obesity, overweight, or underweight.
• Drinking alcoholic beverages.
• Living in places without air conditioning or fans.
• Becoming dehydrated.

To prevent heat-related illnesses from becoming a dangerous heat stroke The National Institute on Aging asks older adults to:

• Get out of the sun and into a cool, ideally air-conditioned place.
• Drink fluids but avoid alcohol and caffeine.
• Shower, bathe, or sponge off with cool water.
• Lie down and rest.

If older adults are experiencing headache, confusion, dizziness, or nausea it could be a sign of a heat-related illness and they are advised to go to the doctor or to an emergency room for possible treatment.

Watch Video on Project Cool Catholic Charities,

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