NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — On delivery days Larry McGee goes to dozens of homes where elderly people live and on hot days like this that’s a good thing.
As a Meals on Wheels driver McGee delivers lots of lunches and dinners to his clients.
But he also has a keen sense of just how they are doing.
We followed McGee on his route through New London.
These days he asks clients if they have enough water and checks to make sure they seem healthy.
“Her air conditioner is on,” says McGee about one client in a high rise complex. “She’s fully dressed today. Normally she’s not so she seems to be okay.”
But that’s not always the case.
“I walked in one time and the fella had fallen,” says McGee.
The non-profit considers these drivers gatekeepers which means they look out for the people to whom they deliver. They know the elderly may be more susceptible to heat stroke and other heat related illnesses.
“This kind of weather you can tell looking at some when they’re really not what they normally are,” says McGee.
He pays attention to how his clients look, how they’re talking, their temperament, and their composure. If something’s not right he takes action.
Today several people failed to answer the door so he made calls.
“She was in the hospital,” he tells us about one client. “They’re going to make sure she got out.”
“It does make me feel better. I mean somebody’s out there checking on me,” says Kathleen Mitchell of New London.
She says her driver once called when she wasn’t home for a delivery.
Drivers also make note of how hot the homes are and if it seems to be affecting the senior. They are often the lifeline for those who are most vulnerable.
“Sometimes seniors can get isolated so it is nice to have that one contact during the day,” says Mitchell.