Keeping elderly people well in a heatwave
Free room thermometers available
Many of us are loving the long hot Summer but a heatwave poses a potential danger for the elderly. Here are a few ideas to keeping the elderly well in a heat wave.
- Close the curtains or pull down blinds to prevent direct sunlight entering rooms
- Avoid going out unless early morning and late evening and even then wear a wide-brimmed hat or cap.
- Wear loose clothing, cotton is cool whilst synthetics dry faster if they become wet with perspiration,
- If they do need to go out – suncream with a high SP factor ( at least 20)
- Cool someone down by putting their wrists under a running cold tap. This cools the part of the brain responsible for heat regulation.
Hydration and nutrition.
- Fluids, fluids and fluids, ensure they drink plenty. Have a jug of water or squash to hand at all times for someone less mobile,
- Ice lollies, ice cream, ice in drinks all helps to cool someone elderly down,
- Encourage them to eat plenty of salads with juicy ingredients such as cucumber, grapes and melon.
- Dark-coloured urine (a sign of dehydration)
- Muscle or abdominal cramps.
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea.
Also if you gently pinch the skin on the back of the hand of an elderly person it should still spring back albeit slowly, if not this is a clear sign of dehydration .