News & Events

News & Events

Stay In the Know at Portola Gardens

From community focused outings and events, to visiting groups and well-planned life enrichment activities, life at Portola Gardens is inspired by the surrounding neighborhood. A private dining room is available for special events or celebrations, and family and friends are always welcome to join us. We share these events and activities with you, along with educational articles and personal stories, to offer a sense of what our residents experience in life at Portola Gardens.

Wildfire Smoke and Respiratory Health

Wildfire Smoke and Respiratory Health

The wildfires in California have created smokey conditions and poor air quality for people throughout the state. In some situations, the smoke can make it hard to breathe and can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat. In more serious situations, poor air quality can exacerbate chronic illnesses, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma or other respiratory diseases.

Unfortunately, wildfires are becoming more common during the summer and fall seasons. Even if you are miles away from a wildfire, winds can bring smoke particles far and wide, sometimes even reaching clear across the country. 

Here are some tips that may help you protect your health:

  • Check air quality (AQI) levels before exercising outside. There are websites that track air quality in specific areas and can help you plan for outdoor activities, including purpleair.com or airnow.gov
  • What level of AQI (Air Quality Index) is too high? 0-50 Good; 51-100 Moderate; 101-150 Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups; 151-200 Unhealthy; 201-300 Very Unhealthy; 301+ Hazardous.
  • If you have to go outside, wear a NIOSH N95 mask. A surgical or cloth mask provides minimal protection for the fine particulate matter.
  • If the air quality is high, stay indoors with the windows closed. Some people set up portable HEPA or MERC-13 filters to capture pollutants caused by ash and other debris caused by the fire. 
  • Run your air conditioner, if available, to recirculate clean air.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day helps to flush irritants and soothe symptoms. Keep eyes moist and clean.
  • Keep activities that can cause irritation to a minimum. Don’t vacuum, burn candles, burn anything in the fireplace, or wear perfume. 
  • Keep extra medications or refills on hand to minimize trips outside and ensure your medical needs are being met.
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