Keeping Cool in a Heatwave

It might not feel like summer yet, but older people can find very hot weather uncomfortable and draining.

In one hot August in 2003 the deaths in England of people over 75 increased by 60%

Those with serious health problems and heart or respiratory conditions are at more risk because the heat can exacerbate those conditions.

Your tolerance to heat can also be affected by certain medicines, so it is important to know how to keep cool.

Symptoms to look for include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or feeling faint or light headed
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea or vomiting

Try to avoid becoming too hot in the first place, once you are too hot, it can be hard to cool yourself down, consider some of the following tips:

  • If the temperature outside is hotter than inside then keep windows closed, but open them later in the day when it is cooler outside.
  • Keep blinds or curtains shut, to keep the sunlight out.
  • Do not sit in a chair that is in direct sunlight
  • If possible sit in a room on the other side of the house to where the sun is.
  • Keep hydrated with cold drinks but avoid alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks.
  • Wear loose clothes, undo that top button and remove your tie
  • Use a cool compress on your face or back of your neck, or splash your face with cool water.
  • If you have a fan, use that to circulate cool air around the room but don’t let it blow on your directly
  • Avoid cooking a hot meal, eat lightly with sandwiches, salad and fruit

 If you are worried about yourself, a loved one or neighbour, then seek advice from NHS Direct, a doctor, or ring 999 if you are feeling poorly or having trouble breathing.

 Here at Home Instead Senior Care we pride ourselves on supporting elderly people to remain independent in their own home, all of our CAREGivers have been issued with guidance from the NHS “looking after yourself and others during hot weather” so they know what signs and symptoms to look for and will ensure each Client has plenty of cool drinks available and that they are aware how to keep themselves cool.

 Home Instead Senior Care provides tailored at-home care for elderly people, allowing them to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. The services they provide include meal preparation, medication reminders, companionship, errands and specialised Alzheimer’s and dementia care.

If you would like more information about the care that Home Instead provides, call the office of 0191 374 4041

Elder lady standing and sun streaming through a window can cause overheating
Elder lady standing and sun streaming through a window can cause overheating

A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home