Last week we saw temperatures of over 28 degrees Celsius. When the weather hots up, many of us rejoice at warmer days and sunshine – it means that the summer is well and truly here. However, this extreme heat can have an adverse effect on the elderly.
If an older adult is housebound they are vulnerable to increasing temperatures and someone they trust should keep an eye on them over the summer period. Once temperatures soar to above the mid-twenties, people with health problems may struggle especially if they live in a flat near the top of a building. It can be difficult for a person alone, at home. Heat can cause dehydration, sickness and over-heating.
If we are mobile and temperatures rise, we can escape by heading for the sea, a pool, countryside or sitting in the garden under some shade, making sure we drink enough and ensuring that windows are open for a through breeze. Most of us know how to keep cool if we need to.
An older person may not remember quite so readily, especially if they are suffering from early stages of dementia. They may need reminding to drink more or open the window and keep the curtains closed.
How to stay cool in high temperatures
Drink fluids and keep hydrated – dehydration can cause headaches, sickness, dizziness and cramp. Drink plenty of fluids but avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Stay indoors – out of direct sunlight. Sunstroke can be very serious if not treated quickly, and can lead to hospitalisation.
Clothing – wear loose-fitting clothes made of light fabrics to avoid sweating and dehydration.
Windows – open the windows but keep the curtains closed for any sun-facing windows.
Turn off non-essential electrical appliances – because these generate heat.
Sleeping soundly – Eat a light dinner near to bedtime and have a thinner duvet or sheets on your bed.
Chill out! – If it is particularly hot then slow down. Sit in the lounge with a cool drink and watch Wimbledon!
Look out for someone you care about
This is all straightforward advice so please look out for your elderly relative and pop in to visit your neighbour if they are housebound. If you live near enough then perhaps you could take them for a trip out to somewhere shady for a lemonade, cup of tea and a scone!
Our Care Monitoring Service
If you do not live near and are worried about a loved one who is housebound or elderly, then please let us know and we can arrange for someone to pop in and check on them. We provide a care monitoring service providing regular visits and frequent updates to give you reassurance.
Please visit our Care Services page or call Lynn on 0845 2692382 for advice and information.