BOTHELL, Wash. - Heat-related illnesses among senior citizens are a big concern heading into the hot weekend. The largest senior center in Washington joins the list of places offering a cooling station.
Northshore Senior Center in Bothell is opening its doors to the public for the first time in the last year in a half. CEO Brooke Knight said the upcoming heatwave was an urgent reason to open up and offer a safe space.
"The weather has the potential to be deadly over the next few days. And there are things we can do to prevent that for people. We want to be doing that," said Knight. "The risk, especially for older adults, of heatstroke is really significant. And a lot of them are living alone, they don’t have someone looking for them and checking in on them. And so we really just wanted to make our space available."
The entire building has air conditioning. Three rooms are set up with board games and a movie projector for entertainment, and there is a fridge full of cold water. Knight said people of all ages looking to escape the hot weather are welcome.
"It really feels like the risk of heat-related illness is much greater than the risk contracting COVID right now, especially given that most of our seniors thankfully have been able to receive a vaccination," said the CEO.
There will be a sign-in sheet and health screenings at the front entrance. Masks will not be required for fully vaccinated guests.
Knight said her team will call the homes of their at-risk members to check on them. Due to low staff, however, they are not able to do outreach like previous hot summers. The team is asking the community to help step in.
"Just check on your neighbors, make sure they’re okay. Make sure they have adequate ventilation, that they’re drinking enough water. Bring them over to your house for a while if you do have air conditioning," said Knight.
The center is located at 10201 E Riverside Drive in Bothell. The cooling station will be available June 25-28 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Knight said some of their transportation team will be available. Anyone needing a ride to the center can call 425-286-1026.
"That’s our mission is to step up and help where we can. And if the last year has taught us anything, it’s that we all need to come together as a community," said Knight. "We’re really excited and a little scared. We’ve all had to change so much over the past year, but it will be really great to have people back in and just see people’s smiling faces and just have that sense of community that we’ve all been really missing."
Here's a list of links to other cooling centers opening in the Puget Sound region:
- Pierce County cooling centers
- Tacoma cooling centers
- King County cooling centers
- Seattle cooling centers
- Snohomish County cooling centers
- Thurston County cooling centers
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