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Heat wave prompts heightened safety measures for seniors in Edmonton

Click to play video: 'Heat wave prompts heightened safety measures for seniors in Edmonton' Heat wave prompts heightened safety measures for seniors in Edmonton
A heat warning continued across much of the province on Sunday, and Environment Canada is reminding Albertans to protect themselves from the hot weather — especially those who are most vulnerable, like seniors. Chris Chacon reports – Jun 27, 2021

A heat warning continued across Alberta on Sunday.

Read more: Edmonton set to reach 40 C mid-week as 11 heat records broken Saturday across Alberta

Environment Canada is reminding Albertans to protect themselves from the heat, especially those who are most vulnerable, like seniors.

“Here they tell you to always have water so that you don’t get dehydrated,” Shepherd’s Care resident Margaret Baron said.

Baron is one of more than 600 seniors living in Shepherd’s Care facilities in Edmonton and the surrounding area trying to manage the heat.

“If it gets too hot, you just look for some shade, stay in the shade for a while. You can take a stroll but don’t go too far,” Baron said.

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Read more: What you need to know about the ‘heat dome’ hovering above B.C., Alberta and territories

To keep residents safe, several protocols to combat the heat are in place.

“Everybody will be seen at least hourly during the heat of the day, for sure,” said Lynn Haugen, executive director of care at the Shepherd’s Care Foundation.

Haugen said water is a priority, and extra fluids are constantly being distributed to keep people hydrated.

“All of our buildings have air conditioning in the common areas, so residents are brought to congregate in those areas and helps keep them cool,” Haugen said.

With Environment Canada saying the heat wave will continue into early next week, it’s warning people about the dangers of heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion, especially in children and seniors.

Read more: Edmonton activates extreme weather response for historic heat wave

“Being alone with temperatures like this, seniors are not always cautious about keeping themselves indoors and keeping themselves hydrated,” Home Instead client care co-ordinator Morgan Fernie said.

Fernie said this heat has led to a spike in demand for services and bringing in safety measures to help clients living at home.

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“We encourage naps during the hottest time of the day or just indoor activities, watching a movie together with the blinds closed,” Fernie said.

Read more: ‘Historic heat wave’ coming to B.C., Alberta: Environment Canada

In addition to air conditioning and drinking lots of water, Fernie said light clothing and minimal outdoor activities are encouraged.

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