Home Instead Peterborough donates 100 air purifiers to seniors with respiratory issues – Peterborough | Globalnews.ca

One hundred seniors in the Peterborough, Ont., area can breathe a little easier thanks to the donation of air purifiers.

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Home Instead Peterborough, which provides in-home care to seniors, says it was recently gifted 100 SharkNinja portable HEPA air purifiers worth $40,000. The company decided to partner with a number of organizations to distribute the units this month.

“Got together, put a plan together and they’ve now all been distributed into our community to older adults, on lower income with respiratory issues,” said Home Instead owner Glen Robson.

Home Instead is working with Age-Friendly Peterborough to distribute the units. Organizations including the Peterborough Housing Corporation, Community Care Peterborough and Thrive Housing and Support (formally the Kawartha Participations Projects) are delivering the units throughout the month.

Alicia Vandine, donor relations with Community Care Peterborough, says the units’ arrival is timely, given the recent stints of wildfire smoke blanketing the region.

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“I actually had one of our clients say, ‘I’m breathing immediately better, I feel so much better,’” she said.

Click to play video: '‘Unsafe to be outdoors’: Wildfire smoke sparks air quality alerts for millions in Canada, U.S.'

‘Unsafe to be outdoors’: Wildfire smoke sparks air quality alerts for millions in Canada, U.S.

Vandine says many of Community Care’s clients are seniors who have breathing-related illnesses.

“Peterborough is certainly above the average in terms of the population of seniors, and of course, seniors with chronic conditions,” she said.

Jenn Ropertz, director of client services for Thrive Housing and Support, says with the increase in poor air quality due to wildfires, air quality has an impact on its older clients with respiratory issues.

“Because of the generous and compassionate donation, our high-risk clients can breathe a little easier,” said Ropertz. “To quote one of our receiving clients, ‘The trick to life is to just keep breathing,’ and this unit has made that a little easier. Thank you again, we couldn’t be more pleased to be partnering with such a compassionate company that truly cares about our population.”

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Some experts say as wildfires are likely to become more prominent, so should the tools to fight the effects.

“Borrowing from the research that has been done on air pollution itself and even in places like seniors homes, we can see that having air cleaners reduces the short-term effects,” said Jeff Brook, associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

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