Homes beat the heat with ingenuity

Employees organize indoor activities, cold treats

From darts to memory games, OMNI Health Care staff members are being creative about how to handle a recent heatwave.

Temperatures in areas of Ontario climbed into the 30s earlier this month. Maplewood in Brighton experienced the heat.

“If it’s consistently too warm, we bring residents indoors, says life enrichment aide Natalie Lake.

“We’ve been doing music and different small activities like darts and memory games.”

The home also hosted a visit from a travelling petting zoo and some of the animals were brought indoors to see residents who didn’t go outside. The day proved to be a bit cooler fortunately so residents who chose to could enjoy the zoo in the shaded area at the back of the home.

Meanwhile, Pleasant Meadow Manor in Norwood has been keeping an eye on the thermometer.

Director of care Susan Towns says they too will keep residents indoors when it’s very hot.

The home has conditioned air, which is not an air conditioner but a unit akin to a large dehumidifier that essentially removes the humidity from the air. The lounges at the end of the home’s two care hallways are air-conditioned by portable units.

“When it gets really hot we use those as our cooling centres,” Susan says.

Employees also provide extra beverages and popsicles throughout the day.

Ensuring residents are well-hydrated is a goal for Willow Estate’s life enrichment co-ordinator Teddy Mazzuca.

She, in conjunction with nutritional care, has organized daily rounds with a hydration cart at the Aurora long-term care home.

Each weekday features a unique refreshment. There’s Mocktail Monday when smoothies are served, Tea Time Tuesday featuring iced tea, Watering Wednesday with flavoured water, Thirsty Thursday offering popsicles and/or ice cream and Fruity Fridays featuring watermelon or other fruit.

Seniors, people living with chronic health issues and those taking certain medications are especially susceptible to becoming ill when temperatures rise, the Canadian Red Cross states on its website.

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