Triple Digits Heat Creates The Need for Fans for the Elderly

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

With temperatures soaring into the triple digits this early in the year, it's leaving our most fragile West Texans suffering from the blazing heat. A growing number of senior citizens just can't afford that costly electric bill. It's a situation that's even turning life-threatening.

It doesn't take any more than a few minutes, sitting in Farnsworth's living room before she begins explaining how much she loves West Texas.

"Just being in Midland is a blessing in and of itself," Farnsworth Gurr, Fan Recipient said. "This is a great place to live."

But this summer, West Texas hasn't been an easy place to live. Triple digit temperatures have folks cranking up the A/C. A growing number of senior citizens, like Farnsworth, won't be able to do that. Midland Community and Senior Services tells NewsWest 9, they've got a huge number of people needing a fan.

"It's very dangerous for homebound elderly who are in their homes," Kobi Nix with Midland Community and Senior Services, said. "Some don't have an air conditioning unit and if they have a unit - prescription costs and medication prevent them from being able to afford to even run it."

"The economy," Gurr said. "There are people hurting who are not able to go out and buy a fan and if someone donates, that's a great mercy."

So they're asking for donations. Community and Senior Services says they normally pass out about 150 fans to elderly neighbors, but this summer the need is even greater.

"It can be extremely dangerous," Nix said. "I think one of the first things you tend to avoid is eating, you lose your appetite and that can be dangerous to a disabled/frail senior."

Meteorologists say the temperature inside a home without A/C can reach up to 90 degrees - a number they say, is 'unbearable.' but Farnsworth tells NewsWest 9 that's not what's important. She says instead of worrying about the heat, she'll focus on something else.

"I think of all the wonderful things in my life and it seems so fool-hearty to dwell on something like the heat because 'to everything there is a season,'" Gurr said.

Midland Community and Senior Services is planning a fan drive for this summer, starting Saturday the 26th. It runs from 10:00a.m. until 2p.m. at Lowe's.