Temperatures in the Truckee Meadows nearly reached 100 degrees Wednesday, the closest we've come to triple digits so far this summer. While the extreme heat is difficult for almost everyone, it's extra hard on certain members of our community.
There's no doubt, the hot weather is uncomfortable, but for senior citizens and some elderly members of our community, it can be downright dangerous.
Lynn Gilder will turn 78 on Saturday. He says the older he gets, the less he can handle the heat.
"It just takes what little bit of energy you've got and it you don't sleep at night, you don't have any energy," said Gilder.
He has an air conditioner, but even when his thermometer reaches the 100 degree mark, it stays off. He says it's a luxury he can't afford.
"Cause it makes such a racket and it also runs up the light bill. This is all electric. There is no gas here," he said.
Maite Smith is a social worker with Washoe County Senior Services. She says extreme heat can be much more than a financial burden on elderly people like Gilder.
"Your body temperature can rise very rapidly. You can faint. You can get dehydrated."
But there is a solution. A seemingly simple tool can provide instant relief. An electric fan can be lifesaver when the temperatures become unbearable.
"You know, just being comfortable. From sitting in an apartment that feels like an oven, to getting some relief from that," said Smith.
Washoe County Senior Services employees are hoping to provide other senior citizens in our area with the same type of relief Gilder was given...and they're hoping the community can help.
"It makes a world of difference. I used a little hand fan last night. I didn't sleep you know," said Gilder.
Smith added, "I have a mother who's 85 and I always think, I would want someone to help her if she were in a situation like this."
The Senior Services Center is collecting new electric fans to donate to seniors who can't afford one. You can drop off the fans at the Washoe County complex on Ninth Street.
We are also collecting fans at the KOLO 8 studios, as part of the "KOLO 8 News Now's Fan Club."
For details, go to our home page and click on the orange "Hot Topics" bar.
Remember, you must be over the age of 60 get a fan. The number to call is: 328-2575....and you should ask for Monica.