EATON — The Ohio Development Services Agency and the Community Action Partnership (CAP) will help income-eligible Ohioans stay cool during the hot summer months. The Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program provides eligible Ohioans assistance paying an electric bill or assistance paying for central air conditioning repairs. The program runs from July 1 until Aug. 31.
“July and August can be two extremely hot months in Ohio, and that can take a toll on older Ohioans and Ohioans with breathing conditions,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency.
Ashley Workman from the Preble County Council on Aging stated that, “Although CAP will process the Summer Crisis Program Applications, Preble County Council on Aging (PCCOA) can help determine eligibility and help complete paperwork. We can also help determine if you are eligible for any other programs.”
The Summer Crisis Program assists low-income households with an older household member (60 years or older), or households that can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health. Conditions can include lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or asthma.
Eligible households can receive up to $300 if they are a customer of a regulated utility, or $500 if they are a customer of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. The assistance is applied to their utility bill or applied to central air conditioning repair costs. Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance. For a family of four the annual income must be at or below $43,050.
Ohioans enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus Program (PIPP Plus) are not eligible for bill payment assistance through the program, but are encouraged to work with the PCCOA to identify other opportunities for assistance.
For more information about the features of the summer Crisis Program locally, contact Bev at the PCCOA at 937-456-4947 or CAP at 937-456-2800. Additional information can also be found at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov or by calling 1-800-282-0880.
Handling Your Emotions During the Heat Wave and Power Outage
• Realize that it is normal to have strong emotions when faced with extreme stress – and this is extreme stress. You are not alone.
• Acknowledge the stress that others around you are experiencing, too. They are going through the same things that you are.
• There are things that you can control and things that you can’t. If you focus on dealing with those you can control, you will be in better control and feel better.
• Help your neighbors – helping others is one of the best ways to help yourself.
• Stick to as much of your normal routine as possible. This is especially important for children.
• Don’t be afraid to ask for help and accept help when offered. Many of us pride ourselves on being able to take care of things ourselves. Asking for help when you need it is a sign of strength – not a sign of weakness.
• Take care of yourself as best you can:
• Go to cool places during the hottest parts of the days:
• Cooling Centers, including PCCOA
• Malls or local shops
• Other places that are cool or have air conditioning
• Take cool baths. This helps regulate your temperature and helps you relax an little.
• Even if your refrigerator is out, you do need to eat well and regularly.
• Don’t argue – it will just make you hotter and won’t help anything.
• If you really feel out of control, contact your local mental health providers. Remember that feeling suicidal or wanting to harm others is never normal and you should get help.
• Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid alcohol. Alcohol will dehydrate you and will make you more emotional. You don’t need that and neither does your family or others around you.
Some additional tips for beating the heat this summer are monitoring or limiting your outdoor activities, drink plenty of water when the temperature heats up, and do not take salt tablets without a health care provider’s advice. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or fainting. People experiencing these symptoms should be moved to a shady or air-conditioned area. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet clothes or towels. Have a person sip on a half glass of water every 15 minutes. If the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness, call 911 or your local emergency number. Have a safe summer and stop in PCCOA Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
To stay up to date on all of our activities, trips and senior news sign up to receive our bi-monthly newsletter the “Senior Scene.” Membership at the Senior Center is $10 a year. In addition to other benefits, members automatically receive our bi-monthly “Senior Scene” newsletter which features all our latest news and activities, additional benefits are discounts on trips and select activities. Like our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/preblecountycouncilonaging/ or give us a call at 937-456-4947. Visit our website at www.PrebleSeniorCenter.org. Resource of this article: www.oam.acl.gov