Cooling centers ready to help seniors take the heat
July 16, 2020 | View PDF
With the mercury climbing to the point where it's dangerous for seniors, several cooling centers are opening in Kern County, including one at the Walker Senior Center in Shafter.
Located at 505 Sunset Avenue, the cooling center will be open from 1 to 8 p.m. on days when the high temperature is forecast to be 105 degrees or higher.
With this week expected to have temperatures hovering around the 102 mark, the Shafter center will not be open unless the forecast changes to over105.
Many seniors in Shafter do not have air conditioning, fighting the heat instead with swamp coolers, which don't effectively cool a house at higher temperatures. Seniors are encouraged to watch their television or listen to the radio for an announcement on whether the centers will be open.
The cooling centers are operated by the Shafter Recreation Department. People visiting the center are encouraged to bring a favorite book or magazine, hobby materials, or some cards to play. The centers also require facial coverings and social distancing.
"I think that these centers are a godsend," said resident Lucy Renetos. "I have a cooler at my house that doesn't help much when it gets this hot. I also like to visit with the other people that show up, especially after being cooped up for so long."