We’ve already experienced some warm days, with temperatures climbing above 20° Celsius. We feel it’s important that people, especially the elderly and vulnerable, are well-prepared for more hot weather to come as temperatures are expected to reach 27° and 28° Celsius.
The elderly are one of the most vulnerable age groups in warm weather. Our ability to regulate our body temperature decreases with age and our brain function also slows, making it harder for us to respond to temperature changes.
Our top tips on keeping cool
It is essential that older people stay cool, especially if there are several hot days and weeks in a row, as we’ve been experiencing recently, and to help, our expert carers have put together a list of tips the elderly can follow to keep cool:
- Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating alcohol and caffeine drinks
- Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment, such as computers and printers, to avoid generating additional heat
- Keep curtains closed to block out heat
- Sleep in a cooler room at night
- Eat cooler foods such as salads, which also have a higher water content
- Avoid too much physical activity, as it can cause you to overheat
- If going outside, always wear a hat, sunglasses and sun cream.
Drinking plenty of water is one of the most important things an elderly person can do in the heat. Dehydration can affect us all in warm weather but particularly the elderly and especially those with dementia, who are sometimes unable to detect thirst easily. Dehydration can also lead to complications due to toxins in the bloodstream and can affect the liver and kidney. Older people can also experience dry, itchy skin if dehydrated.
Some elderly people who live alone, are simply too frail or have reduced mobility will find taking care in warm weather difficult, so it’s important to check up on any loved-ones, friends or neighbours regularly.
If an elderly person is on medication for circulatory problems, being over hot can lead to the inability to produce sweat, meaning the body cannot cool itself and can eventually lead to heatstroke.
It’s a good idea to have a fan in any rooms or a hand-held fan within easy reach. You could even keep a damp flannel or cloth to hand to help cool the face and neck.
Our carers will be making sure all our service users are keeping as cool as they can this summer.