Home » Researchers seek over 65s to test heat warning system

Researchers seek over 65s to test heat warning system

Daniel Bouwmeester    November 7, 2023    3 min read   

A team of Griffith University researchers is seeking older Springfield residents to test an in-home early-warning system for heat this summer.

The trials will take place during November and March across South East Queensland as part of the University’s ‘Ethos Project’.

The system will use small sensors to monitor home temperature and humidity, and alert vulnerable residents when levels become dangerous. It will also provide personalised cooling recommendations to reduce heat health risk.

In Australia, extreme heat is deadlier than any natural disaster.

And this year, the world experienced its warmest July on record, according to the latest meteorological data.

Ethos project coordinator Ella Jackman said this year’s El Niño weather is predicted to be a “scorcher”.

“This multi-year funded project is focused on helping older people with hot homes stay cool in extreme heat,” Ms Jackman said.

“If you are over the age of 65, living in South East Queensland (and do not have a diagnosis of a cognitive or psychological disorder, such as dementia or schizophrenia), we invite you to register your interest.”

Ethos Core Team, left to right (Back): Connor Forbes, Dr Aaron Bach, Dr Sebastian Binnewies, Dr Steven Baker. (Front) Dr Zhiwei Xu, Mehak Oberai, Assoc. Prof. Shannon Rutherford, Ella Jackman. Image: Griffith University.

Serious risk

In the sunshine state alone, over 100 lives are lost each year from exposure to high temperatures, according to Ethos.

Extreme heat can also cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. And it can worsen other medical conditions, causing a decline in quality of sleep, and putting greater pressure on the heart.

Although heat can impact anyone’s health, people over the age of 65 are at an increased risk of experiencing such health consequences.

Ms Jackman said therefore it is essential that residents take steps to adequately protect themselves and keep their homes cool this summer, which is why she encourages participation in the Ethos Project.

“If you’re a bit concerned about navigating a new technology, no worries – our research team will provide you with continuous support and you’ll have several opportunities to chat with fellow participants and share experiences throughout the trial,” she explained.

“By participating, you will also receive a $50 gift card as a token of our appreciation.”

To register your interest, email ethos@griffith.edu.au or give the team a call on 5552 7903.

For more information about the Ethos Project and other ways to be involved, visit climate-ethos.com.

See also: Community invited to have say in new project funding

Community invited to have say in new project funding

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.