Amid a scorching heatwave, a Metro Vancouver group has stepped up to provide safety calls to more than 200 immigrant seniors and ensure they are not being left to suffer in the heat.
MOSAIC, a non-profit organization, launched the volunteer program to check in on seniors who live at home. If they are not comfortable in English, volunteers check on home-bound seniors using their first language.
"It is hard to recognize the signs of heat stress in ourselves,” says Holly Jones, a volunteer coordinator.
“We are helping them to assess if they need medical attention, if they need to go to a cooling centre or if they need to be taking steps to cool their body.”
Jones says early intervention is essential to keeping people safe in the heat. The sooner they get to them, the sooner they can help reduce the volumes of seniors getting to the critical stages of heat stroke and needing medical interventions, she said.
Support calls can also be made to provide seniors with advice about how to be safe at home, how to access nearby cooling centres, and how to use cooling kits.
"We also educate them on how our homes can be dangerously hot inside. Seniors who don’t go out often can be at much greater risk,” says Jones.
The organization has 95 volunteers providing support in eight different languages.
Anyone interested in registering a family member or themselves to receive check-in calls should contact email@example.com.