HEAT & HEALTH POLICY
How are we protecting people most vulnerable to heat?
A deadly and growing threat to nursing home patients remains overlooked: extreme heat.
As the Camp Fire swallowed Paradise, as many as 175 elderly patients in skilled nursing facilities lay in its path. Nimble care workers saved them from the flames, wrangling private cars and pleading with ambulance companies to speed safe evacuations.
Extraordinary, heroic efforts protected patients in Paradise. But climate change – which intensifies wildfires and strengthens heat waves and hurricanes f– now flings ever-worsening natural disasters at nursing homes in California and across the country. And in some of these cases, managers and staff are failing their patients.