As we head into summer, rising temperatures can pose a serious risk to older adults and those with disabilities. That’s why the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Aging and Adult Services has launched Operation Fan Heat Relief.
From May 1 to October 31, eligible individuals can sign up for assistance at Aging Agencies across the state. Since 1986, this program has been providing fans to older adults and adults with disabilities, making their living environment more comfortable and reducing the risk of heat-related illnesses.
Thanks to donations from Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress, Dominion, and Valassis, this relief program is able to purchase fans and even air conditioners for those with specific health conditions. Last year alone, over 3,700 fans and 23 air conditioners were distributed to those in need.
As we age, our ability to sense and respond to changes in temperature decreases, and certain medications can exacerbate the effects of extreme heat. That’s why it’s important to take precautions during high temperatures, such as increasing fluid intake, spending time in cool environments, and reducing strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day. It’s also important to speak with your physician about staying safe while taking medication that can affect the body’s ability to cool itself.
By partnering with local service providers, Operation Fan Heat Relief is helping vulnerable adults stay safe and comfortable during the hot summer months.
For more info, you can contact a local agency on aging or the Division of Aging and Adult Services at 919-855-3400, or visit ncdhhs.gov/operation-fan-and-heat-relief.