The Department of Health & Human Services developed the Residential aged care services heatwave ready resource to help Victorian residential aged care services (RACS) plan and prepare for heatwaves. The resource provides information on heat health and older people. All residents in RACS are potentially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they are usually over 65 years of age and are likely to have a complicating condition (such as a medical condition, a disability, poor mobility or dementia).
Heatwave preparations should consider planned responses for:
- minimising any avoidable adverse health effects of extreme hot weather to residents, staff and visitors
- managing a disruption to essential services, such as power, which can affect resident care if prolonged.
The resource advises RACS have strict protocols to manage residents entering and exiting facilities, to prevent unsupervised egress during extreme weather events.
Information for services, residents, carers and families
The resource includes a checklist to help RACS prepare for hot summers, covering:
- policies, procedures and protocols
- resident care needs
- equipment, services and supplies.
The resource also contains templates for residents, families and carers about:
- ten common myths and misunderstandings about heatwaves
- information for residents
- information for carers and families.