Volunteers make sure to check on vulnerable senior citizens during the Labor Day heatwave

ALAMEDA (KPIX) — With high temperatures like the Bay Area is seeing this week, the people who routinely help or check in with senior citizens become a critical part of heat-wave safety. 

“We have delivered on stormy days where the wind was blowing like crazy and the rain was coming down,” said Mike Leong with Alameda Meals On Wheels. “And we make sure that everybody’s fine inside.”

Mike and Tammie Leong are a bit like the postal service. Nothing stops them from their weekly rounds.

“When you do the same route, we know all the recipients on our route,” Mike says.

“Hi Miss Baker,” Tammie called out at the next door. “Meals on wheels.”

And while the food is important, making contact is often more critical, especially in this heat.

“Just to make sure they are well,” Tammie said. “They’re not looking tired and they’re staying hydrated.”

“I was wondering how you guys were doing when I realized you were about to get here,” said recipient  Wallace Johnson. “Because I know it’s hot out there.”

“So we are going to check in on an elderly resident of Alameda,” explained Lorna Williams of Alameda Friendly Visitors.”

She gives seniors like Joyce Anderson a chance to talk about her family and the heat.

“Well I have a washcloth that I put on my face.” Anderson said. “I figured why ring it out.”

And the heat was a topic of conversation at every stop stop on Monday

“I have all my doors open so there is a breeze,” one woman said of her home. “But it’s so hot.”

And with every visit and delivery, there was plenty of gratitude, for the help and the concern.

“So I am very grateful,” she added. “And I appreciate your coming because I don’t see too many people.”

“It’s really important to be checking in on your elderly relatives, your elderly neighbors,” Williams said of the heat wave. “Especially if you know anybody who is living alone. Make sure they’re OK, but they are drinking enough water, and that they have some way to stay cool.”

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