Heat wave: Caring for older people

a large grey thermometer

Heat wave: Caring for older people 

Older people are at increased risk of heat related illness, especially if they live alone, have medical conditions or take certain medicines.

Being frail, not able to move as easily, or having dementia or a mental illness, can affect their ability to take adequate care of themselves in hot weather.

The following advice may help if you care for an elderly person.

• Arrange to check on them twice a day if you can during extreme heat, especially if they live alone. If possible visit them as you need to be able to make sure they are drinking enough water and assess any changes to their physical condition,
• If  they appear to be suffering from heat stress, they need to be cooled down immediately. Use cool baths, showers, or place cool, wet towels on their neck and underarms.
• Call a doctor or an ambulance if an older person’s condition does not improve within an hour after taking steps to cool them down, or if they have any heat related symptoms that are causing concern.

 Keeping cool

Pull curtains to block the sun and heat,

  • Wear loose clothing, light colours are cooler
  • Cool feet in a bowl of cold water
  • Run cold water on wrists to cool the whole body
  • Wear a hat outside to keep the sun off your head, leave strenuous work for a cooler time.
  • Drink plenty of cold drinks, have ice and eat fruit and veg with a high water content.






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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