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Seniors with chronic conditions find ways to beat the heat

Posted at 9:51 AM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 11:33:30-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas  — People are finding ways to stay cool in this extreme South Texas heat.

Some of these ways are more fun than others.

“When I’m here, I’m relaxed," said Tommy Garza. "I feel fresh, I feel good and I’m having fun at the same time.”

Garza lives in Corpus Christi, but he spends most of his time at his home-away-from-home.

From 9 a.m., until midnight you can find him at BingoLand on Crosstown Expressway. He'll be at his favorite table — coincidentally, right under the air conditioning.

“I try not to use the AC at home because I’m on a budget, and I’m pretty sure everyone is," he said. "So, to beat the heat, I try and entertain myself by playing bingo.”

Garza is not alone. His friends at bingo say it’s been a challenge to stay cool during the summer without seeing a high electricity bill.

Daniel Tavares said, at times, he can’t cool down at home.

“I had AC problems two weeks ago," he said. "It’s tough, being on a fixed income and (to) get repairs done on a unit.”

Tavares drives about 30 minutes from Calallen, and Alberto Hinojosa also makes a trip from Taft.

They both know about the cooling centers offered by the city of Corpus Christi, but they would rather stay cool and enjoy one of their favorite hobbies.

Garza and Tavares both suffer from a chronic pulmonary disease that makes breathing difficult.

“I don’t tolerate the heat at all,” Tavares said.

“I have to get my recliner and put it under the ceiling fan,” Garza said.

Driscoll Children’s Hospital Interim Prevention Supervisor Karen Beard said seniors who regularly take medication are at a higher risk for heat stroke.

“You will start sweating profusely," she said. "You need to drink lots of water and drink more water. You will start feeling nauseous and disoriented."

Beard gives us some tips on different ways you can stay cool while at home.

The City of Corpus Christi is making the La Retama Central Library available to the public as a cooling center Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The cooling center will be open daily from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Click here

CCRTA also provides funding to assist private nonprofits in meeting the transportation needs of older adults and people with disabilities when the transportation service provided is unavailable, insufficient, or inappropriate to meeting these needs.

To apply visit, here.