Cypriots urged to use Air Conditioning - especially the elderly

Cyprus | Posted:

ANOTHER two elderly people were recovering from heat stroke in hospital yesterday after being hospitalised on Thursday following days of extreme temperatures.

Two women aged 89 and 90, one from Limassol and the other from Nicosia, had a fever and were unconscious when admitted to the cities’ general hospitals.

Ioanna Grigoriou from the health services said yesterday they were both in stable condition and were recovering.

Just two days ago a 65-year-old woman died from heat stroke after being found alone at her home by a relative.

Grigoriou confirmed that the vast majority of the more than ten people admitted to hospital since the heatwave began were elderly and that two of them were from old people’s homes.

“Two of them were living in an old people’s home and one was working outside and probably got heat stroke from that,” said Grigoriou.

On Thursday Labour Minister Sotiroulla Charalambous threatened to close down old people’s homes if they failed to switch their air conditioning units on.

She said inspections were made of various old people’s homes and ten were found to have the air conditioning switched off.

“We’re continuing inspections and there where we found problems we will do repeat inspections,” said Charalambous, adding that the aim was to make sure the elderly were living in proper conditions.

Charalambous explained that by law an old people’s home must have “adequate lighting and the building must be equipped with air conditioning to create stable temperatures, according to the weather”.

Dr Fivos Kostopoulos at Nicosia General Hospital reiterated earlier warnings that carers must ensure elderly people drink plenty of water and have a fan or an air conditioning on.

“Someone who can’t take care of themselves can’t be expected to hydrate themselves,” said Kostopoulos.

He also stressed that the elderly should not be left alone:” Someone who is healthy would think to drink water but if they have problems medical or any other kind they have to have someone there to take care of them.”

Due to the heat the Nicosia Municipality also made available a citizen’s support centre near Famagusta Gate which is fully air conditioned and open daily from 7.30am to 6 pm - except Sundays - and on Saturday from 9 am to 4.30pm.

According to the head of the centre, Roulla Georgopoulou, they get about 30-40 people daily, mainly elderly, but the centre is open to everyone.

“On Thursday we had about 30 people but today (Friday) we only had about 18 as it’s Friday and the elderly usually like to stay home and do their odd jobs before the weekend,” she said.

The Met Office said yesterday that starting from Sunday and on Monday temperatures will begin to drop to the norm for the season which is 37C inland, 30-32C on the coast and 28C on the mountains.

The temperature today will be 38C inland, 31-34C on the coast and 22C in the mountains.

Source: Cyprus Mail