When temperatures soar, so do the chances of heat-related illness, especially for the elderly and disabled. Relief is available in Ralls County to help those most at-risk.

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The North East Community Action Corporation has a limited supply of air conditioners. They’re available free to qualifying Ralls County residents who are elderly or disabled.

 The window units were donated by Ameren Missouri and Heat Up/Cool Down St. Louis. Experts at the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health say knowing which health-related factors may increase risk could save a life. Those factors include:

  • Age-related changes to the skin such as poor blood circulation and inefficient sweat glands
  • Heart, lung, and kidney diseases, as well as any illness that causes general weakness or fever
  • High blood pressure or other conditions that require changes in diet, such as salt-restricted diets
  • Reduced sweating, caused by medications such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, and certain heart and blood pressure drugs
  • Taking several drugs for various conditions (It is important, however, to continue to take prescribed medication and discuss possible problems with a physician.)
  • Being substantially overweight or underweight
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Being dehydrated

Lifestyle factors can also increase risk, including extremely hot living quarters, lack of transportation, overdressing, visiting overcrowded places, and not understanding how to respond to weather conditions.

If you live in Ralls County and would like more information on the free air conditioning units, call NECAC at 573-985-2411.