At this time of many fires spreading across much of the US, I thought I would send out an extra message to those of you who care for seniors. Even if you aren’t in direct line of one of the fires the smoke can travel for miles causing air quality to drop.
When wildfire smoke becomes thick in the atmosphere there are several groups of people who are affected by the contaminated air. One of these groups of people are seniors.
As we age our lung capacity diminishes and for many seniors the wildfire smog puts them is serious danger for respiratory problems, including pneumonia.
As best as possible keep your senior indoors when smoke is heavily in the air.
If you find that your home isn’t sealed well against drafts try some simple and cheap ways to temporarily seal up the areas allowing smokey air into your home.
The usual areas for air leaking from outside to inside are around doors and windows.
A damp bath towel along the base of any door leading outside will help stop and filter airflow. A damp sheet tacked around a window sill will filter airflow around the window casing.
If there is no avoiding a trip outdoors for your senior, encourage them to wear a mask while out of doors. The best style of mask for this is referred to as a N95 – other types of masks will not filter out the fine particulates found in forest fire smoke.
If your senior starts showing any signs of respiratory distress, do not hesitate to contact their doctor and get them into seek medical help.