Meals on Wheels keeping clients' health in mind in July heat

Every Thursday, Ray Scott takes time out of his day to come volunteer at Meals On Wheels Central Texas.

"With our family roots being in East Austin, it's just a way to give back," Scott said.

"You feeling alright, everything good?  You staying cool?," Scott asked a client when they answered the door.

It's late July in Austin, Texas so it's hot...really hot.

Adam Hauser, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels Central Texas says volunteers are trained from the beginning to develop a relationship with their clients and make sure they're doing okay.  This time of year that means coping with the intense heat.

"What we teach our volunteers are to deliver safety checks and companionship as well," Hauser said.

"If I'm taxed you know someone at their age, could be potentially dangerous," Scott said.

Meals on Wheels volunteers handed fliers out to clients earlier in the summer listing some of the warning signs the heat is taking a toll on you.  The mild symptoms include muscle cramps and dizziness.  Some of the more serious symptoms -- nausea, seizures and disorientation.  The fliers help clients know when to drink cool water and when to call 911. 

Lynn Herrick is a satisfied Meals on Wheels client.

"I think it's wonderful, the food is really delicious," Herrick said. 

Herrick is a little unique.  She actually enjoys warm weather and doesn't worry about the intensity of the heat.

"I personally don't but a lot of people do and I hope that they all do have air conditioning or whatever they need," Herrick said.

And for those who are having issues with their A/C, Meals On Wheels staff say if they can't help they'll connect the client to a non-profit that can.  Director of Volunteer Services Denise Jimenez told volunteers in training on Thursday about how they helped a client just last week, 

"Her A/C unit had actually ran out of Freon.  We passed that information over to client services and they were able to send somebody out that day," Jimenez said.

Hauser says volunteers like Scott are critical.

"Make sure that their environment is safe, make sure that they're healthy.  They're really the eyes and ears of our organization and help us protect our clients," Hauser said.

Meals On Wheels say they deliver about 3,000 meals everyday thanks to about 7,500 volunteers. 

If you'd like to learn more about the non-profit, click here.