We must protect vulnerable seniors during heat waves

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We’re rightly horrified and angry when a child or pet is left in a hot car, but what about our senior citizens left in sweltering retirement homes? In Canada, no law exists that protects seniors from dangerous extreme heat while living in retirement homes, senior residences, group homes or care facilities.

Seniors who cannot leave or are immobile are helpless and vulnerable, left to suffer from extreme heat lasting for days or weeks without air-conditioning. This makes it difficult for them to breathe, sleep or be comfortable, increasing respiratory failure, cardiac issues, sanitary distress and deadly dehydration. Seniors easily deteriorate mentally and physically in the extreme heat and often find it difficult to recover from heat stroke (read more about the effects of heat here). Yet nothing has been done to regulate humane, effective cooling of these residences.

Please sign my petition urging the new Minister of Seniors, Filomena Tassi, to require ALL senior care facilities to provide air-conditioning in common rooms and bedrooms. It’s sadly apparent that we need a law to force all senior facilities to provide cooling as well as heating.

We need a new law without delay. Our seniors should be protected from excessive heat. Be their voice, before it’s too late for the survivors of the last heat wave. Canada - from coast to coast - is heating up and we need to look out for the seniors of Canada as they are vulnerable, weak, some alone and voiceless. We need to show them they are not forgotten, that they matter and we care.

Nobody should be subjected to deadly heat while in a Canadian senior care facility in 2019. Let’s do this! Sign and share my petition to tell Minister Tassi to get this done as an urgent priority.

Read more:
- What happens to your body when heat waves kill

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