The heat is starting to die down a bit, but unfortunately for some seniors at Alward Place it is not fast enough. In a recent story some residents at the seniors centre were forced to try to sleep in temperatures as high as 32 C.
This temperature is not healthy for someone who is in good physical shape, but to be a senior and have to try to sleep in this type of heat is just a little too much.
Northern Health, who owns and operates Alward Place made some spiffing suggestions to the seniors who live there, during meetings with concerned residents on July. 17 and Aug. 2 such as: getting blinds or black-out curtains.
This is akin to telling a chicken that wearing sunglasses or wrapping itself in tin foil while being placed in an oven will prevent it from cooking. It is absolutely ridiculous.
Other suggestions Northern Health made about drinking plenty of water and wearing loose clothing are also silly. They are the same generic suggestions Northern Health would give to anyone and everyone who is going to spend any time in the heat, which suggests the health authority may not be taking this matter seriously. Besides what good will loose clothing do when you have to sleep naked.
Perhaps they're hoping once the temperatures dip the complaints will stop and they can just forget about it.
Northern Health spokesperson Jonathon Dyck said "It is also the responsibility of the individual tenant to address concerns related to heat in their unit and Northern Health is willing to assist the tenants to find effective methods that will reduce the temperature in their units."
Effective being the optimal word here.
Hopefully people will read the statement and think "Ahh, Northern Health cares," even though they have done nothing other than open the oven and ask the chicken if it would like a drink and a baggy pair of pyjamas.
The health authority has also arranged for residents to purchase discounted fans at Walmart.
However, other than turning the normal oven into a convection oven by blowing the hot air around, the fans won't do much to alleviate the heat.
Even though Dyck feels it is the responsibility of the tenants to address concerns related to heat in their units it is pretty hard to do so when the windows only open four inches, which not only prevents appropriate air flow it also means an air conditioner can't be installed.
Maybe Dyck needs to spend a couple of days and nights in one of these suites. Try cooking any food in a room that is already at 32 C. It is OK for some of us who are lucky enough to be able to go outside and barbecue, but that is not an option here.
And what if one of the residents of Alward Place was to succumb to the swealtering heat? What then? Northern Health would be circling the wagons faster than General Custer at his last stand, because then the heat would really be on.
None of the residents wanted their names used for fear of repercussions from Northern Health.
What does this say about Northern Health when a bunch of seniors are afraid to speak up.
Isn't Northern Health, and every health unit for that matter there to promote and aide in the betterment of the heath of its population?
On Northern Health's website it states: Northern Health leads the way in promoting health and providing health services for Northern and rural populations. It also says, "We treat people with: compassion: caring genuinely, empathy, understanding and earning trust."
I would think with temperatures above 30 C, offering silly answers to a potentially serious problem, and telling residents it is their responsibility to address concerns related to heat in their unit, Northern Heath may be missing just a little compassion, caring, empathy and understanding. As for earning their trust, I think residents who refuse to use their real names for fear of retribution have answered that question.
— Associate editor Mick Kearns