Middletown pays special attention to keep seniors cool during hot temps

Santiaga Gamboa, 87, and her grandchildren were managing well though their AC window unit seemed to stop working.

Ben Nandy

Jun 21, 2024, 10:04 PM

Updated 27 days ago

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Local governments paid special attention to senior citizens on the fourth day of hot streak in the Hudson Valley, especially since air conditioning systems are being overpowered by the heat.
Santiaga Gamboa, 87, and her grandchildren were managing well though their AC window unit seemed to stop working.
The unit was set for 64 degrees.
It felt more like 84.
Gamboa said in Spanish she is comfortable in these conditions, drinking plenty of water, eating fruit and sitting on the front porch.
"That's what she likes to do," her grandson Marvin Garcia said. "She likes to be outside to see who's going and who's coming."
Mercedes Ortiz was in Middletown looking for a cool place where she could study for her college exam before she went to work.
Ortiz - a nursing assistant at a local nursing home - has her fingers crossed.
"We gotta hope there's AC working there too because if not there are going to be fans blowing. It's disgusting," she said. "On a cooler day, they'd be outside … but now they're just indoors because the heat's just unbearable."
City officials are encouraging anyone suffering in the heat to visit the Mulberry Street cooling center, the library or the the city's senior center.
The senior center is being used as an early voting location and no activities are scheduled for this week, seniors are still encouraged to come in to cool off, staff said.
Cooling center manager Matthew Airall is setting up chairs and a TV for visitors.
He said the center will be designated a cooling center during periods of extreme heat throughout the summer.
"There shouldn't be any fuss in coming here. There are no requirements," he said. "The requirement is showing up.


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