this image shows the word heatwave

Keeping elderly people well in a heatwave

this image shows the word heatwave

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.

Heat Exhaustion

The most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
  • Confusion.
  • Dark-coloured urine (a sign of dehydration)
  • Dizziness.
  • Fainting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • 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 .

I have free room thermometers to send out to anyone elderly to ensure their homes are kept at a healthy temperature. Simply complete the sign up form to the top right of this article.

Caron

Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

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