With temperatures set to soar, a level 3 health alert has been issued by the Met Office. Local at-home care company, Home Instead Senior Care Kirklees, is advising members of the community to help older people to take precautions as temperatures climb across the UK.
The health alert is triggered when there is a high chance that temperatures will reach between 82F and 89F over two consecutive days and not dip below 59F at night.
Public Health England (PHE) has issued urgent advice warning people to turn off non-essential lights and electrical items; open windows during the night and to drink plenty of water and cold drinks to avoid dehydration.
James Little of Home Instead said, “We provide care for older people. Older people are often unable to adjust to sudden changes in temperature, which makes them more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
“They are more likely to have medical conditions that can change normal body responses to heat and they may well be on medication which can also impair their ability to regulate their temperature. So, for this group, it is particularly important that precautions are taken.
“I would urge people to look out for vulnerable elderly relatives and neighbours if the hot weather continues.
“We are paying particular attention to Public Health England’s (PHE) advice and their ‘Heatwave Plan’ which we are sharing with our CAREGivers.”
“We are also advising our clients and older people in the community to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm and when they do go out to seek out shady areas, wear sunscreen, a hat, loose cotton clothing and sunglasses when being outside is necessary.
“Keeping hydrated is also really important so older people should drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, ideally cool drinks.”
“A summary of the Public Health England advice for being sun safe is posted on our website. All the points are basic and very obvious however, due to the complexities of some older peoples’ health situation (multiple conditions being managed by various medications etc), it is crucial to limit the risk associated with high temperatures”.
With this in mind, here are a few tips on how to stay safe:
- Avoid the hottest times of the day (between 11am – 3pm) – if you do need to venture out make sure you aren’t outside for long periods of time and find shady spots when you can.
- Keep hydrated – even if you’re not thirsty it’s important to drink plenty of water or fruit juice to replace fluids lost during sweating. Avoid caffeine or alcohol which increase dehydration.
- Think lightweight – choose clothing which is loose, lightweight, light coloured and breathable, such as a white linen or cotton shirt.
- Cool down – take cool showers and baths when possible. If you’re out and about, use a cotton hankie soaked in cool water and place it on the back of your neck and on your wrists.
- Cover up – in addition to wearing cooler clothing it’s also important to remember a hat. No matter whether it’s a cotton baseball cap or a straw boater, headwear will help to keep your face in the shade.
- Pick the perfect spot – seek out the coolest areas of your home during warmer weather. Keep curtains and blinds closed to prevent sun heating up rooms, especially your bedroom.
- If safe, leave windows open during the night.
- Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items .
The Kirklees office of Home Instead Senior Care is part of a national network of over 150 independently owned and operated offices. For further information about our services or for advice please call: 01484 661 921 or visit www.homeinstead.co.uk/Kirklees