MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – “Cold Weather Companions” is a program designed and run by the people at Synergy Home Care.

They not only help seniors and the homebound continue to live independently, but they also make sure they aren’t unnecessarily exposed to the harsh elements.

Anne Gerber uses Metro Mobility to run errands, but when it’s double-digits below zero outside, she counts on the help of Bethany Ekstrand from Synergy.

“For Anne, sometime it’s just telling her that it’s ridiculously cold outside and she shouldn’t be going anywhere,” Ekstrand said.

She is Gerber’s link to surviving on her own.

“Part of my responsibility is to do the things that they would normally do if they were going to go out,” she said.

Jim Zenk, president of Synergy Home Care, says his aides increase their visits when the extreme cold moves in.