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Medical Director of Famed Los Angeles Jewish Home Gives Tips to Elderly for Coping With Effects of Southland Fires
Date:10/24/2007

RESEDA, Calif., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The medical director of the world-renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home is alerting Southland residents to the particular vulnerabilities of the elderly in the area as a result of the multiple fires ravaging California.

Dr. Rick Smith points out that though no one is immune to the effects these fires have on air quality, the elderly are even more sensitive. He offered several pragmatic health tips to deal with the fires' subsequent toxins:

1) Those in fire areas should remain indoors to avoid smoke inhalation.

2) Refrain from any outdoor activities if in the immediate or surrounding

fire areas; especially if the smell of smoke can be detected or eye or

throat irritation is noted.

3) Keep windows and air vents closed when driving through smoky areas.

4) Asthma, emphysema and bronchitis sufferers living in the immediate or

surrounding areas should:

-- Remain indoors when possible with shut doors and windows. Air

conditioners, air cleaners/purifiers are strongly suggested.

-- Breathe through a dampened handkerchief when outdoors.

-- Keep medications near. Asthmatics should have pills and/or

inhalers on hand. Oxygen patients are asked not to adjust their

level of intake prior to consulting with a physician.

5) Contact your physician in the case of a persistent cough or

difficult/painful breathing.

According to Dr. Smith, symptoms can occur as late as 24-48 hours after exposure; and he recommended people modify lifestyle habits for up to seven days after the fires have ended. "There are many toxins in the air with fires like this," he said. "Particles we can't see can penetrate our systems and enter our bloodstreams. The elderly are at a very high risk."

Founded in 1912, the world-renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home is one of the foremost continuing senior living facilities in the United States and is the largest single-source provider of senior housing in Los Angeles. In total the Home annually serves more than 2,200 seniors through an extraordinary continuum of services. Each year, more than 1,500 senior women and men are supported through in-residence housing on two village campuses (spanning 16 acres), with services featuring independent-living "Neighborhood Home" accommodations, residential care, skilled nursing care, Alzheimer's disease and dementia care. Another 700 seniors are served through the Home's community-based programs which include Skirball Hospice and community clinics. Healthcare professionals from around the world consult with the Jewish Home in an effort to improve eldercare in their home countries. The Home is a nonprofit organization that relies upon donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to continue its remarkable work. Further information regarding the Home can be found online at http://www.jha.org or by calling 818-757-4407.


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SOURCE Los Angeles Jewish Home
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