With most of us revelling in the unexpectedly long spell of sunshine recently, for some it can be inconvenient, stressful, tiring and sometimes dangerous. When the temperature goes up, the elderly are more likely than others to suffer. Here are few recommended tips to keep your elderly friends and family at minimal risk during the hot periods:
1/ Drinking lots of water. It may seem obvious, but keeping hydrated is essential. Ensure a glass or jug of water is at reaching distance, and remind them to have at least 8 glasses a day.
2/ Stay indoors between 11am and 2pm. These are the hottest hours of the day and can be too exhausting and uncomfortable.
3/ Sunscreen and hats are important. The elderly especially need extra sun protection to help keep them healthy, so remind them gently about applying sunscreen regularly, and offer to help if necessary. Hats are a great idea, particularly for those with light or minimal hair.
4/ Get those shades on. Too much exposure to the sun can irritate eyes and cause a lot of damage, and with vision loss being prevalent among the elderly, it is especially essential that they protect their eyes from UV rays.
5/ Beware of hypothermia. Heat strokes can be life threatening so make sure you are aware of the warning signs. Flushed, dry skin, nausea, vomiting, a rapid pulse, a lack of sweat, fainting and headaches are all warning signs that you should get medical attention.
6/ Cover windows. Keep curtains, shades and blinds down to keep the interior cool and comfortable.
7/ Spray! Take a small spray bottle with you on walks to keep cool.
8/ Stay cool when outside the house. For days out, think about cooler spaces such as shopping malls, cinemas and libraries, and consider the amount of seating available, as the heat can be particularly exhausting. These places are a great way to get out of the house for some exercise without overheating.
9/ What medication are they using? Some chronic medical conditions and prescription medication can damage the body’s ability to control and react to rising temperatures, so make sure you are aware.
10/ Communicate. Ensure you are regularly in touch with any elderly friends and relatives, and make that extra effort to have more people visiting, checking up twice a day if possible. Place a list of emergency numbers in an obvious place so that anyone visiting can react quickly.
We want you to have a relaxed and enjoyable summer with any elderly relations, so keep in mind these tips to avoid any incidents. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions on 01494 678811 and feel free to talk to us about what help we could offer.