Heat warnings across B.C.: Protecting seniors during extreme temperatures

Heat warnings have been issued in many areas throughout B.C. With these high temperatures expected this weekend into next week, BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) is urging everyone to prepare for the heat and to monitor the seniors in their communities to ensure they are safe and are staying cool.

As seniors (65+) are more vulnerable during extreme heat, consider taking the following precautions to reduce risk for heat-related illnesses:

  • Take note of the seniors’ health conditions and medications. Check if they’re taking any prescription drugs that could impair their ability to regulate body temperature.
  • Watch out for signs of overheating such as extreme thirst, dizziness, headache, nausea, cramps, fatigue, and cold, clammy skin. Overheating is not very dangerous on its own but can quickly lead to heatstroke. Symptoms of heatstroke include a body temperature of 104°F or higher, inflamed skin without sweating, rapid pulse, headache, nausea, dizziness and unconsciousness.
  • Minimize sun exposure. If it’s hot outside stay indoors in a cool, air-conditioned environment. Keep your home cool by blocking out the sun with blinds/solar curtains, and keeping windows open at night.
  • Dress appropriately. Wear light-colored clothing made of natural, breathable fabrics like cotton. Hats and scarves should be used to protect against the sun.
  • Stay hydrated by consuming enough water, juice, fruits and vegetables. Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee and cola.
  • Exercise indoors on warm days. Seniors should stay active but avoid overexerting themselves.

Below are some useful resources on heat safety and preparedness:
HealthLinkBC – Beat the Heat

BC Centre for Disease Control – Preparing for Heat Events

PreparedBC – Be prepared for extreme heat


Extreme Heat Guide


For additional information and resources, such as information on local cooling centres and active heat warnings, visit EmergencyInfoBC here.

Also check out BCCPA’s 2024 Emergency Preparedness Resource Database for operators here and SafeCare BC’s extreme weather resources for staff in continuing care here.

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