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Nonprofits stress importance of checking on elderly family members, neighbors

Winter weather difficult for seniors
Clermont Senior Services
Posted at 8:39 PM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 20:39:47-05

BATAVIA, Ohio — Crews continue to clear roads in hopes of easing commutes before nasty wind chills arrive Saturday morning.

Driving in wintry conditions is difficult for everyone, but especially for seniors. On an average day, Meals on Wheels delivers about 4,000 meals to seniors experiencing physical declines or financial hardships across the Tri-State.

“We realized that Thursday was going to be really, really problematic for us,” said Kat Steiner, Chief Giving Officer of Meals on Wheels. “And so we delivered 8,000 meals on Wednesday with the help of volunteers, and we know we are going to need volunteers next week.”

Meals on Wheels provides food boxes that are exclusively for emergencies. In Northern Kentucky, the nonprofit provided 14-day emergency relief boxes, specifically for rural communities, to help them get through the storm.

“You add public transportation concerns on top of that, and then mobility and it just really compounds quickly,” Steiner said. “Accessibility to food is critical."

Cindy Gramke of Clermont Senior Services said they offer a transportation service that takes people all over the county for doctor appointments.

“Sometimes our drivers start pickups for dialysis to take people to dialysis treatment as early as 4:30 in the morning,” Gramke said.

Drivers help them to get from their door to the bus. Even with that assistance, Gramke said it can be challenging.

“It's still not easy, because if there's ice, it's a problem. It really is a serious problem,” she said.

Those services were canceled Friday due to safety concerns. Gramke said there were also street closures in Clermont County that impacted their ability to continue with the transportation service.

“We do have a lot of folks who are without electric and our case managers are checking on them as well,” Gramke said.

Gramke said drivers had to make sure all seniors were aware of the change.

“We need to be able to reach people and to make sure they know, for instance, that we're not going to be picking them up," Gramke said.

Clermont Senior Services works closely with law enforcement, so officers were able to check on people who are usually more isolated.

Gramke said it is important to check on elderly family members or neighbors, especially if they live in an area still dealing with power outages.

if you are concerned about someone, she says to call local law enforcement and they will go out and do a wellness check.

Ice causes irreparable damage for some Tri-State families
Nasty morning wind chills on the way