We all suffer in hot climates. However, for seniors and disabled people and those with chronic health conditions such as vascular disease or diabetes, the weather does not have to hit 50 degrees to cause heat stress or even deadly heat stroke.
Planning on taking a trip in the sun? Taking a vacation abroad? Or even preparing yourself for the hotter climate in the UK over the next few weeks?
Be sure to stay protected!
It is important for everyone to take extra care in the summer months. Elderly people in particular, can be susceptible to stress and illness from the heat. It takes time to adjust to hotter and humid temperatures, and serious medical problems can occur when someone becomes overheated.
As we age, we gradually lose the ability to perspire and regulate our body temperature meaning it is important to ensure that we stay hydrated regularly, staying cool and to drink plenty of liquids even if not feeling thirsty, as well as taking extra measures to prevent ourselves from becoming too hot in these climates. Older skin thins and offers less protection from the sun, whilst being overweight, underweight or taking prescribed medication can increase the risk of illness in hotter temperatures.
What precautions can I take?
- Drink regular fluids to stay hydrated
- Sit in the shade or a cool area if you feel too warm, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint
- avoid overexertion
- Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured and lightweight clothing
- Take cool showers and if needed, lay a cool, moist flannel over the forehead or back of the neck and replace often
- Try to avoid direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day (an open, uncovered window during the day will simply make the inside temperature the same as the outside)
A person with cognitive impairment, whether from disease or injury, may not be able to communicate distress. In some cases, they may not even feel the heat or discomfort because of changes in the brain’s abilities to process sensory information or regulate their body’s responses to heat. It is vital that we take extra precautions to ensure we stay protected in the heat and offer the help and support to others that need it most.
Right at Home provides professional care, we do all we can to ensure our clients can enjoy living at home – and going out – in a safe environment.
To find out more about the many ways we can help, contact us today.