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Top Heatwave Safety Tips for Older People

Monday, 23rd July 2018

We have seen a prolonged period of hot weather in the UK and the Met Office has issued a heat health watch alert today indicating a high probability of heatwave conditions.

Working alongside Public Health England, the heat health watch service is designed to help health professionals manage through periods of extreme temperature. This is particularly aimed at older people who experience increased risk to their health during hot weather, especially those living with a chronic illness or on certain types of medication.

At Carefound Home Care in Yorkshire and Cheshire, we have instigated our heatwave policy which ensures that our home carers are alerted to the dangers to older people in a heatwave and are looking out for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Some top tips for older people to stay safe during a heatwave are:

  1. Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler.
  2. Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
  3. Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn’t possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
  4. Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  5. Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.
  6. Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool.
  7. Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
  8. Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  9. Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
  10. Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

Please do keep an eye out for your relatives, friends and neighbours during this hot weather and seek help from a GP or contact NHS 111 if someone is feeling unwell and shows symptoms of breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, intense thirst, weakness, dizziness or cramps which get worse or don’t go away. Also get the person somewhere cool to rest and give them plenty of fluids to drink.

Find out how hourly visiting care or live-in care can help ensure your loved one receives the care they need during the summer months by speaking with the Carefound Home Care team in Yorkshire or Cheshire.