Extreme heat and smoke puts elderly at risk - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Extreme heat and smoke puts elderly at risk

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TRI-CITIES, WA - The air quality around the region is continuing to take a hit this week. The wildfire smoke combined with extreme temperatures are a big concern for at-home nurses and their elderly patients.

"It's crazy for me to even think about going out in this weather," said Leonard Taitelbaum, an assisted living resident.

Not only is it crazy; it's dangerous. These conditions could cause a young and healthy person discomfort, but they could have serious medical consequences for the elderly. 

"When someone takes their medications they feel better," said Cheryl Repko, an administrator with Critical Nurse Staffing. "So when they feel better they think they can do more, so they have to understand that there are limitations with the air quality and with the heat advisory."

Taitelbaum's caregiver says she's not even letting him outside right now because the conditions are so unbearable, so instead she's doing what she can to keep him comfortable inside.

"Make sure the air conditioning is going, he's got fans going," said caregiver Tawnya Farran.

The heat and air quality advisories will be in effect until this weekend. If you can, check on your elderly neighbors, be sure to stay hydrated, and keep cool.

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