Keep cool in the heat

Avoid direct sunlight - elder lady standing and holding cup
Avoid direct sunlight - elder lady standing and holding cup

Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot for too long there are health risks. If a heatwave hits this summer, make sure the hot weather doesn't harm you or anyone you know

In August 2003, during a 9 day heatwave deaths in England in people over 70 increased by 60%.

Symptoms to look for that can indicate heat is causing a problem include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or feeling faint or light headed
  • Confusion/Memory loss/Agitation
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea or vomiting


Advice from the NHS website suggests the following, to avoid becoming too hot:

  • Shut windows and curtains it is hotter outside than inside. If it's safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler. Keep curtains closed in bedrooms to keep the room cool all day.
  • Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don't go out between 11am and 3pm, don’t sit in a chair that is in direct sunlight
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water, or use a cool compress on the back of your neck
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat if you go outdoors, avoid wearing a tie and undo your top button
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home