Elderly residents battling heat rely on COA for relief - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Elderly residents battling heat rely on COA for relief

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Louisiana may be known as "Sportsman's Paradise," but Tasha Amar, Director of the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging (COA), knows that the state is also known for its intense heat.

That is why her organization is working as hard as ever giving out fans and air conditioners to senior citizens, who are not only battling the high temperatures, but financial pressures.

"Seniors as they age make choices. ‘Do I fix the air conditioning system do I pay for my medication? Do I eat today or do I pay the energy bill?'" said Amar.

Amar says the COA has given more than 400 fans and more than 50 air conditioners to senior citizens this year alone. But, there are a 150 more people on the waiting list.

"This is the end of their years. This is the end of your life and you should be comfortable. You worked hard all of your life. You have paid taxes for this city and this great state and you should get some benefits. If you don't have it you can call us and we will get it to you," said Amar.

One of those calls for help came from Betty Roddy. We got a chance to go inside her home. Our thermometer read an uncomfortable 92 degrees, and that was with a fan on.

"I was sleeping with the door opened and moving the fan from here to there.......and it is a blessing to get an air conditioner," said Roddy.

A blessing that Roddy says couldn't come at a better time. When Amar sees the smiles on the faces of seniors she feels her job is a whole lot cooler.

To find out more about the fans, either how to receive one or donate, call 225-923-8000 or visit their website at www.ebrcoa.org.

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