SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – With a handheld paper fan, Barbara Arriola tries to cool down as she watches TV. Beads of sweat cover forehead. At 11 a.m., it is already 85 degrees inside her apartment at the Romana Senior Complex in San Bernardino.

What You Need To Know

  • County aims to help seniors stay safe at home

  • Traditional cooling centers, like libraries are not open

  • The Department of Aging is now delivering free fans

  • Repairing broken air conditioning units for seniors and dependent adults

“I have central air, but I don’t use it because the bill will be too high. We aren’t even in summer yet. It will be even hotter,” Arriola said.

Since the 65-year-old is at high risk of catching the coronavirus she doesn’t leave her home often despite the extreme temperatures. Before the stay-at-home order she used to stop by cooling centers.




Most traditional cooling centers, places like libraries and senior centers are not open even if she wanted to go. In San Bernardino County, the Department of Aging and Adult Services is now delivering free fans and even repairing broken air conditioning units for seniors or dependent adults.

“This is a very difficult time for seniors,” said Roxanne Young, Deputy Director Department of Aging and Adult Services in San Bernardino County.

Young said her goals is to make sure seniors are staying safe while cooling centers are shutdown so the county purchased and is delivering box fans to eligible seniors like Arriola.

Seniors in San Bernardino County can call Adult Protective Services to request a fan. The number is 877-565-2020. Individuals must be 65 or older or a dependent adult between 18 and 65.