Gardnerville Health and Rehab helps seniors be cool |

Gardnerville Health and Rehab helps seniors be cool

by Sarah Hauck
Cecile Schulz picks out a brand new fan Wednesday morning at the Douglas County Community and Senior Cente.
Brad Coman |

Summer came into the Valley with a blaze of glory as soon as the calendar flipped to June.

Those suddenly warmer temperatures left many residents, seniors in particular, feeling the heat without reprieve, something Gardnerville Health and Rehabilitation decided to combat with the help of bladed friends.

Gardnerville Health and Rehab and the Douglas County Community & Senior Center joined forces to donate 101 fans to seniors looking for a little relief from the heat.

“A lot of our seniors live in older, ranch homes that don’t have central air,” Gardnerville Health and Rehabilitation Community Relations Director Carolyn Davis said. “Reno has a fan drive like this, but a lot of our seniors can’t travel to benefit from that program. We are so glad we were able to make this a local thing.”

For the last three months the rehabilitation center has been collecting fans.

This was the center’s first time hosting such and drive and the response was promising encouraging future efforts to extend resources to area seniors.

“We work with seniors everyday,” Gardnerville rehab Executive Director Jeff Stepanski said. “They were the ones that build the wonderful community that we live into today. We want to honor that and by meeting their needs in anyway that we can. This is just another way for us to help meet those needs.”

One senior who is the owner of a new fan applauded the rehab center as well as the senior center for their efforts to make senior’s lives just a little more comfortable.

“This is just beautiful,” Robert Braz, 78 said. “The senior center does a lot of things for a lot of the people here. I am honored to be one of those people they are helping out. I enjoy helping people and seeing them doing something like this to help people, and being one of the people they are helping is just amazing. There are going to be a lot of content seniors.”

Gerda Watrous, 84, also collected a fan for her home on Wednesday at the senior center.

The senior center regular said the fan donation was just another thing to add to the list of benefits the center and outside resources provide for county seniors.

“This is just unbelievable,” Watrous said. “This community is just so great. The senior center is so important, not only for the fans, but because it gets seniors out of their home and surrounded by their friends.”

The senior center has been collecting and distributing fans for the last four years.

This was the first year that the center has teamed up with health and rehab, a partnership Community Services Director Scott Morgan said is beneficial to the seniors.

“I love that we can distribute these fans to seniors,” he said. “I love that these nonprofits and groups like the rehab center can use the community center as a distribution point.”

The rehab center will continue to increase their outreach via education classes and a winter clothing drive.

Seeing outreaches like the fan drive come to life solidifies the reason behind the planning Davis said.

“I was already excited before we got here and now that we are here dropping off the fans and seeing this project come to light is just heartwarming,” she said. “Seeing the looks on the seniors’ faces was just amazing.”