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Looking after the Elderly in Hot Temperatures

Temperatures are continuing to soar this week, causing Public Health England to issue a level 3 alert. High temperatures can pose great health risks, particularly in the elderly – such as dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

The elderly are more vulnerable to heat because:

  • Their bodies don’t adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature.
  • Chronic medical conditions can change their body responses to heat.
  • Prescription medicines can impair their body’s ability to regulate temperature or could actually prevent sweating.

Please be sure to check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves and follow our advise to keep cool and stay safe during a heat wave.

Our advice on keeping cool and staying safe for the elderly

  • Stay hydrated by drinking  plenty of water and avoid sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks as these can make you more dehydrated.
  • Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, which is typically between 11am and 3pm.
  • Avoid physical exertion during the hottest part of the day.
  • If outside, stay in the shade and wear sunscreen and a hat.
  • Keep cool by splashing yourself with water throughout the day, or place a cool wet flannel on the back of your neck.
  • Make rooms in the house as cool as possible by closing blinds and curtains to keep the sun out.
  • Find the coolest room in the house and spend time there if you need to.
  • Wear appropriate clothing – loose fitting and light coloured cotton fabrics are best.

For more advise on how to cope in hot weather please visit the nhs summer health pages at


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