Community Care Service changes to protect clients from summer heat

Mildura Rural City Council is adapting some of its key Community Care Services to help residents access them as safely as possible ahead of what is expected to be another long, hot summer.

Mildura Mayor Jason Modica said while many residents, particularly long-term Sunraysia residents, may be used to the heat, it doesn’t make it any less dangerous during the frequent extreme heat days our region experiences during summer.

“Everyone can be affected by extreme heat, particularly infants, children and people over 65, all of whom are at higher risk of heat stress,” Cr Modica said.

“To ensure these groups are able to access our Community Care Services as safely as possible over coming months, our teams have introduced several changes.”

From December, the following changes to Community Care Services may be introduced when needed and communicated to clients:

Aged and Disability Services

There may be some adjustments to how services are provided and they may be moved to an earlier, cooler time of the day.

Maternal and Child Health

Maternal and Child Health Centre appointments may be booked earlier in the day to avoid bringing babies/children out in the heat. Home visits will also be available in the afternoons by appointment. Parents will still have the option of afternoon appointments if they wish.

Consultations can also be conducted online via Council’s Health Direct video conferencing service if requested.

Maternal and Child Health New Parent Groups

New Parent Groups are currently meeting online, with face-to-face groups returning in the near future and offered earlier in the day. Parents will also have the option to attend online via video link if preferred.

Immunisation Clinics and Appointments

At present all Immunisation Clinics are by appointment-only to reduce wait times. During extreme heat, residents with appointments will be notified if appointments are changed or cancelled.

Supported Playgroups

Supported Playgroups will be held in the mornings during the summer months.

Cr Modica said that during extreme heat it’s easy to become dehydrated, or for your body to overheat, leading to heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even heatstroke, which is a medical emergency that can result in permanent damage to vital organs, or even death if not treated immediately.

With heatwaves becoming a regular feature of the Victorian summer residents are urged to plan ahead to look after themselves and others during extreme heat.

Simple steps to stay safe in the heat include:

  • drink plenty of water – always take a refillable water bottle with you
  • hot cars kill – never leave children, adults or pets in hot cars. The temperature inside a parked car can double within minutes
  • keep cool – seek out air-conditioned buildings (remember to remain COVID-safe and follow restrictions in place at the time), draw your blinds, use a fan, take cool showers and dress in light and loose clothing made from natural fabrics
  • plan ahead – schedule activities in the coolest part of the day and avoid exercising in the heat. If you must go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you
  • help others – look after those most at risk in the heat – your neighbour living alone, the elderly, the young, people with a medical condition and don’t forget your pets.

If you or anyone you know feels unwell on a hot day call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24, or call 000 in an emergency.

/Public Release. View in full here.