Those who work with vulnerable residents are taking precautions for their clients as the mercury climbs with the hot summer weather.

Health officials in Thunder Bay are cautioning people to keep cool, but that can be challenging if people don’t have access to air conditioning.

At Dawson Court Home for the Aged, only the dining hall and lounges are air conditioned. On hot days, that can be an issue for some residents with respiratory problems, said administrator Tom Gash.

"What we normally try to do is relocate our high-risk residents into the air-conditioned areas," he said.

Over at Thunder Bay’s Shelter House, worker Robert Deleo said the heat has affected the shelter’s traffic.

"We've noticed on some of the warmer days we do have a little bit of an increase in our numbers compared to the usual," he said, adding the shelter usually averages 40 clients on summer nights.

On days like Tuesday, when the temperatures soared above 30 degrees Celsius, about 50 people came to cool off.

'Lots of popsicles'

This comes as no surprise to Linda Fraser, a spokesperson with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.

"Sometimes, when you put out health messages, you'll often hear that the elderly and the young are the most vulnerable," she said. "In the case of heat illness though, everyone needs to take precautions."

She advises people to avoid being in direct sunlight in the middle of the day — and to keep hydrated.

As temperatures in Thunder Bay are expected to spike again in the next couple of days, Gash said he and his staff at Dawson Court are keeping this advice in mind.

"We push fluids ... popsicles, lots of popsicles," he said. "That's for both residents and staff. We suggest to our staff to slow down and certainly encourage more breaks."