Elderly residents look out for each other during heat wave

Area under excessive heat warning

Health warnings about the record hot temperatures are striking a chord with elderly residents.

Senior citizens playing cards at Reedsburg’s Rec Center said they realize the importance of looking out for your neighbors during a heat wave with dangerously hot temperatures.

“I don’t know too many that don’t have air conditioning,” said Bernie Tourdot, a Reedsburg resident. “Most of them have air.”

Tourdot said the seniors all look out for each other and come together to get through the heat.

“We come down here (to the center) and we are checking on each other and playing cards,” Tourdot said.

“I think Reedsburg is a unique community in that when someone is hurting, there’s always someone there who would help them,” said Reedsburg resident Dale Meyer.

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But even in a small community like Reedsburg, not everyone finds the help they need in time.

Just a year ago, the temperatures hit 100 degrees there and an 87-year-old woman died in her home. Despite warnings from neighbors and loved ones, the woman made a choice to stay inside her home without air conditioning.

Just a few at the euchre tables could remember Sauk County’s only heat fatality of 2011.

“She probably thought she was fine,” Meyer said. “I don’t know the situation, but she probably thought she could handle the situation. And people that are in their own home don’t know how hot it is.”

As they remember to reach out to others, these seniors said they hope their peers remember to reach back and accept the help.

“It’s sad that someone thinks there’s no one there that cares, because there is someone that cares,” Meyer said.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for much of the southern and western part of the state until 10 p.m. Friday. 

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