Hot weather places a great deal of stress on the body and in particular on our elderly. The heat affects our health and our energy levels, but there are things you can do to help to prevent heat related illness.
Firstly, lets look at symptoms of heat related illness that may range from dehydration to serious heat stress:
Feeling Faint or weak, which may lead to falls
What can we do to assist the elderly and prevent heat related illness?
For Yourself :
- Stay out of the sun
- Minimise physical activity
- If you must go outside, try to go early or late in the day and wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
- Wear loose clothing
- Use wet towels to wipe your face, neck and arms.
- Drink plenty of fluids like water and diluted fruit juice even if you don’t feel thirsty and suck on ice cubes.
- Sip fluids throughout the day, rather than drink all at once.
- Eat smaller meals
- Eat foods with high fluid content such as vegetables, fruits and jellies.
- Avoid drinking too much tea, coffee and alcohol.
Your home :
- Make sure your air conditioner is set to cool
- Close the windows and shut the curtains during the heat of the day.
- Let the cool air in at night.
- For elders that don’t have air conditioning try spending some time during the heat of the day in a place like a shopping centre, library or cinema to keep cool.
Know who to call if you need help during extreme heat and make sure you keep a list of those phone numbers by the phone. Make a plan BEFORE we get a few days of extremely hot weather. There are services out there to assist the elderly, so make an appointment with your doctor before it gets too hot! Planning ahead is key to staying safe and cool in the hot weather, before you know it we will be complaining about the cold again!