At-home care company, Home Instead Senior Care is going the extra mile and giving its clients and care staff FREE bottles of water this weekend as part of its own ‘heat awareness campaign’ and advising everyone in the local West Lancashire community to join in and encourage older people to take precautions as temperatures across the region continue to soar.
Gail Godson Director goes on to say, “We think it’s safe to say that the weather so far this summer has made a welcome change from recent years, but it is vital that we remain aware of the health risks the searing heat brings. The Met Office currently has a level 3 heat wave alert which requires actions targeted at high-risk groups. This is one level below the top level 4 Red alert, a national emergency. With this in mind we issued our own CAREGiver hot weather guidance earlier in the week .Obviously the elderly are particularly vulnerable during this time and we are signposting the community to the advice document issued by the government in conjunction with the NHS."
Who is at risk?
There are certain factors that increase an individual’s risk during a heatwave. These include:
Older age: especially those over 75 years old, or those living on their own and who are socially isolated, or in a care home.
Chronic and severe illness: including heart conditions, diabetes, respiratory or renal insufficiency, Parkinson’s disease or severe mental illness. Medications that potentially affect renal function, sweating, thermoregulation or electrolyte balance can make this group more vulnerable to the effects of heat .
Inability to adapt behaviour to keep cool: having Alzheimer’s, a disability, being bed bound, too much alcohol, babies and the very young.
Environmental factors and overexposure: living in a top floor flat, being homeless,activities or jobs that are in hot places or outdoors and include high levels of physical exertion.
During severe hot weather, there is a risk of developing heat exhaustion and heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses including respiratory and heart problems. In a moderate heatwave, it is mainly the above high-risk groups that are affected.
The NHS document can be found online at:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/201035/9543-TSO-2901033-Heatwave_-_Supporting_Vulnerable_People_HSCP_Accessible