February 8, 2013
The snowstorm that hit New York City over the weekend threatened the safety and health of the most vulnerable New Yorkers, the homebound elderly. Citymeals delivered Emergency Food Packages, each with the equivalent of 12 shelf-stable meals, to 17,000 frail aged meal recipients in preparation for harsh winter weather. Meal centers also double-delivered meals to prepare for weather delays and closings throughout the weekend.
Citymeals asked New Yorkers to check in on their elderly neighbors, many of whom are not mobile or healthy enough to take the proper precautions for severe winter weather.
Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals-on-Wheels, advised:
- Check to make sure elderly have food essentials on hand, including milk, bread, soup and a source of protein
- Make sure the heat is on
- If they use any space heaters, make sure there are no potential fire hazards, such as blankets, curtains or upholstered furniture, in close proximity
- Ask if there is sufficient hot water for bathing
- Make certain they have blankets to keep warm at night
Health experts advised all seniors to look out for any dangerous side effects of the cold: chills, drop in body temperature, breathing difficulties, dry or chapped skin, stiff joints and muscles, headache, numbness in the extremities, weakness and fatigue. If an elderly person exhibited these symptoms, or if confusion set in, experts advised calling “911” for help immediately.
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