Flint water crisis taking its toll on senior residents - WNEM TV 5

Flint water crisis taking its toll on senior residents

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

While the Flint water crisis has had a big impact on everyone living in the city, some have been hit harder than others.

The effects of lead can leave a long lasting toll on children, creating road blocks for mental and physical development in their critical early stages of life.

The water crisis has made matters worse for Flint's oldest members too. Many Flint seniors require help collecting bottled water and accessing information.

Seniors danced to forget at the Hasselbring Senior Center on Tuesday. It was the anniversary of when life as they knew it changed indefinitely.

Gwendolyn Wafford said being a senior has its own challenges when facing the water crisis.

"I got to lug that water around. I'm a senior citizen, that water gets heavy," Wafford said.

She said seniors at the center who don't get water delivery struggle every day with how they are going to get their water.

"Look at the weight of the water and then picking that up and then storing that in their homes. Then sometimes the water breaks and then you got water all over the place in the house," Wafford said.

She said the laundry list of problems goes on for many aging citizens.

Seniors at the center complain about paying for water they can't use and not even being able to soak in the bathtub.

Johnnie Etherly was at the center planning group activities on Tuesday and wore a Flint Lives Matter T-shirt.

"Anywhere you go people will ask, 'You still dealing with the crisis?' I say, 'You know I live in Flint right,'" Etherly said.

She said three years is too long and the shirt is a reminder. She said people at the center have worked their whole lives to enjoy their retirement, not deal with a public health disaster.

"I change the filter once a month when I remember. We can't drink it so it's not fine. We should be able to drink it," Etherly said.

The seniors at the center said even with the filter they don't use the water. They rely on bottled water and jugs.

As for Wafford, she hopes the crisis is over before it reaches four years.

"I know people are mad and some are madder than others, but what can we do," she said.

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