Se­niors fight post-hur­ri­cane heat with Pop­si­cles, com­presses

Ripon Bulletin - - Nation -

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — Florida se­niors were ush­ered out of sti­fling as­sist­edliv­ing cen­ters Thurs­day while care­givers fought a lack of air con­di­tion­ing with Pop­si­cles and cool com­presses after eight peo­ple died at a nurs­ing home in the post-hur­ri­cane heat.

Dozens of the state’s se­nior cen­ters still lacked elec­tric­ity in the af­ter­math of Hur­ri­cane Irma, and sev­eral fa­cil­i­ties were forced to evac­u­ate. While de­tec­tives sought clues to the deaths, emer­gency work­ers went door to door to look for any­one else who was at risk.

Fifty-seven res­i­dents were moved from a sub­ur­ban Fort Laud­erdale as­sisted-liv­ing fa­cil­ity with­out power to two nearby homes where power had been re­stored. Owner Ralph Mar­rin­son said all five of his Florida fa­cil­i­ties lost elec­tric­ity after Irma. Work­ers scram­bled to keep pa­tients cool with emer­gency stocks of ice and Pop­si­cles.

“FPL has got to have a bet­ter plan for power,” he said, re­fer­ring to the state’s largest util­ity, Florida Power & Light. “We’re sup­posed to be on a pri­or­ity list, and it doesn’t come and it doesn’t come, and frankly it’s very scary.”

Stepped-up safety checks were con­ducted around the state after eight deaths at the Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­ter at Hollywood Hills, which shocked Florida’s top lead­ers as they sur­veyed de­struc­tion from the pun­ish­ing storm.

Older peo­ple can be more sus­cep­ti­ble to heat be­cause their bod­ies do not ad­just to tem­per­a­tures as well as those of younger peo­ple. They do not sweat as much and are more likely to have med­i­cal con­di­tions that change how the body re­sponds to heat. They are also more likely to take med­i­ca­tion that af­fects body tem­per­a­ture.

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