Seniors ask for support as temperatures drop

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COLUMBIA - As mid-Missouri sees its coldest temperatures this winter season, those 65 years and older are at more risk than others.

The National Institutes of Health said in a news release that even mild exposure to the cold could affect seniors. Aging, medicines, and medical conditions can impair the body's ability to produce heat, making seniors the most vulnerable to hypothermia.

Betty Baker said she lives with 45 other seniors who look out for each other through the winter.

"That is important for all the people our age, that we need to be checking on each other day-by-day," Baker said.

But other seniors who live alone may not have that support. Board member Russell Bell, of the Columbia Senior Activity Center, said he encourages more people to check on seniors in their community when temperatures drop.

"That's just being a good neighbor, and that's something that we should all practice," Bell said.

He encourages seniors to stay warm inside until the roads are safe to drive on.

Baker said she plans to keep warm in the place that offers fun, food, and friends.

"I would come here to the senior center where there's all the people together where we can visit together," Baker said.