Air conditioning not standard in long-term care in BC Interior

Many in care don’t have AC

Air conditioning not standard in long-term care in BC Interior

You might be surprised to learn, many care homes for the elderly, even here in the Okanagan, don’t have air conditioning units in residents’ rooms.

Staff at David Lloyd-Jones Home contacted Castanet because they say they’re exhausted and frustrated with having to work in sweltering conditions. The facility only has air conditioning in common areas. Fans are used in patient rooms, and doors to hallways are left open to try to keep them cool.

The operations director at Kaigo Senior Living confirms there’s no AC in the rooms of most residents at Mission Creek Landing. Most older facilities don’t have it. Even some new ones like their building in Richmond don’t come with in-room cooling systems, said Wendy Calhoun.

She pointed out the elderly and frail enjoy the heat, and cold can be dangerous. Patients could freeze if a unit were to be left running for too long.

However, extreme heat can also prove deadly. Police and the BC Coroners Service are investigating several sudden deaths in recent days believed to be related to the heat wave.

The elderly are especially vulnerable. “Once the core temperature rises too high, it needs to be cooled down,” said Troy Clifford, the provincial president of the Ambulance Paramedics of BC (APBC)

Calhoun said a replacement for Mission Creek Landing is under construction and Phase One, with 140 beds, will be ready in less than two years. It will have central air conditioning.

Castanet has reached out to Interior Health, which operates David Lloyd-Jones Home, to ask if they plan to do anything about the situation there, but haven’t had a response yet.