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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT
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Greenwich Nursing Home Beats the Heat

With temperatures reaching nearly 100 degrees Thursday, Greenwich’s most vulnerable residents are at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses. But Nathaniel Witherell Nursing Home is making sure its elderly residents keep cool.

“We do keep our eye on it. Luckily, the facility is air-conditioned, so we don’t have as much worry as many other nursing homes without air conditioning do,” said Allen Brown, executive director for the town nursing home.

People ages 65 and older are more prone to heat stress than younger people because of several factors, according to the state Commission on Aging. Elderly people do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature and are more likely to have chronic medical conditions that upset normal body reaction to heat or take medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate temperature.

“We have a hydration program in place so all residents are monitored for their fluid intakes during the day,” said Brown, adding in the Department of Public Health sent information Wednesday on issues that may arise in extreme heat that has been distributed among the nursing staff.

“If there were a power failure, we’d have to be more vigilant about hydration and symptoms and signs of dehydration,” said Brown. “But right now, it’s business as usual for us, thank goodness.”

Temperatures may reach up to 102 degrees Thursday, and thunderstorms may occur before 2 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures are expected to drop Friday with a predicted high of 83 degrees and a chance of showers.

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