Heat wave warnings are in effect across the province and rising temperatures may put vulnerable seniors at risk. With higher temperatures expected, it is recommended that seniors take some additional precautions and family, friends and neighbours are encouraged to check in on older people to ensure they are keeping cool and well hydrated. The dual focus during high temperatures is to keep the room cool and to keep the body cool.
To cool rooms:
• Ensure the blinds are lowered and/or drapes are closed during the heat of the day. Keep the windows closed until the temperature outside is cooler than the temperature inside. When temperatures drop in the evening, open the windows, blinds and drapes and let the cool air in.
• If you have air conditioning, ensure it is turned on, working properly and all windows and doors are closed.
• If you do not have air conditioning, have fans running and open doors to the corridor of the building if it will help circulate cooler air.
• If you are having difficulty cooling the room, consider going to a cooler location such as an air conditioned shopping mall or visit family or friends who have a cooler home.
To cool the body:
• Ensure you drink plenty of cool liquids and eat as much as possible; appetite may decrease during the hot weather but keeping up fluid intake is crucial.
• Apply a cold cloth to your face, wrists and back of the neck. Placing wrists under cold running water or taking a cool or tepid shower can also be helpful.
• Ensure you wear cool cotton or other natural, breathable clothing.
• Avoid going outside in the daytime. If you must go out, ensure you are protected from the sun with clothing, sunscreen and a wide brimmed a hat. Older skin is more vulnerable to sunburn.
- Extreme Heat Preparedness Guide: www.preparedbc.ca/extremeheat
- Environment and Climate Change Canada’s weather alerts: https://weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html?prov=bc
- EmergencyInfoBC heat warning and cooling centre information: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/
- HealthLink BC: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/more/health-features/beat-heat
- For more information about the BC Heat Alert and Response System: www.bccdc.ca/extremeheat
Read the OSA news release: Seniors Advocate urges seniors and caregivers to prepare for rising temperatures: https://www.seniorsadvocatebc.ca/app/uploads/sites/4/2022/07/NR-BKG-Heat-Wave-July-22-Final.pdf