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Caring for the elderly in hot weather

Many welcome the hot weather, however for some, the recent heat waves may prove difficult and even dangerous. Below details information about those who are at most risk of heat-related health problems, and advice on how to deal with issues that might arise, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The elderly, those with chronic conditions and those with mobility problems are at a higher risk of developing heat-related diseases. An individual’s general health could also increase the threat of a heat-related illness, including:

  • Being overweight or underweight
  • Illnesses that cause general weakness, such as heart and lung disease
  • Poor blood circulation
  • High blood pressure  
  • Inability to perspire (caused by medications)
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: headache, nausea, muscle spasms and fatigue after exposure to heat. More severe symptoms include: confusion, possible delirium or a coma. Older people who are at a higher risk of suffering from heat exhaustion should stay indoors and avoid overcrowded places. If you suspect that you or someone you are with is suffering from heat exhaustion you should:

  • Get out of the sun and go somewhere that has air conditioning  
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol
  • Sponge off with cool water or take a cool shower
  • Lie down and rest
  • Keep your room cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If these are not available, you should use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed, as metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter.

If you or a loved one needs extra support during the summer, do not hesitate to contact us on 020 3034 4784. Your Care Coordinator can arrange for food delivery and transport if you or a loved one are struggling to leave the house, and our Professional Carers can help you with shopping, provide personal assistance and aid with light domestic tasks.

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