With soaring temperatures in the UK, keeping elderly people safe in the heat is an incredibly important job, as they are more at risk and vulnerable during the heatwave. You can take precautionary steps to keep your elderly friends, family and clients safe and we have made a list of helpful tips to support older people and prevent the risks.
1. Check in regularly with your loved ones, whether it’s a phone call to ensure they are well or regular visits.
2. Ensure that their environment is safe and that they have plentiful water and appropriate food. Check the temperature and keep curtains closed if necessary, to keep direct sunlight at bay and create shade.
3. Consider opening a window to allow a cool breeze and fresh air to ventilate the room or house. Only leave windows open if it is safe to do so.
4. Hydration is essential in this heat, ensure that water is easily accessible to them. You can also eat foods such as broths, soups, salads and fruit to maintain your hydration levels too.
5. Fans are a great way to help your body to cool down, however they don’t cool down the room. A container of iced water placed a safe distant in front of the fan can act as air conditioning and help to cool the room down. It’s important
to ensure the water stays away from electricity.
6. Cool baths or showers are a great way to cool yourself down, if practical for the elderly.
7. Comfortable, light clothing helps your body to stay cool during the heat. Cotton and linen are great options for this, and light colours are the best option. If there is lots of sunlight, a hat or sunglasses could help.
8. Remember to eat regularly as our body diminishes in salt from sweating, so even if you do not feel hungry, ensure you eat to keep up with your nutrients.
9. If you happen to go outside, ensure sun lotion is applied to skin, wear a hat and if possible stay in the shade. Try to avoid being outside in the middle of the day when the sun is hottest, mornings and evenings are much cooler.
10. Cool water applied to the back of the neck, inside of wrists and temples help to cool the body down.
11. Check with your GP or pharmacist whether you need special instructions for storing medical prescriptions or if the heat affects them in any way.
We hope our top tips for staying cool in the heat helps, and remember to seek medical advice or contact your carer or a relative if you feel unwell or dehydrated.