Many of us look forward to the summer – longer and brighter days and the warmth of the sun on our bones is a great feeling!
However, it is important to recognise that older people’s bodies are often unable to adjust to sudden changes in temperature, which makes them more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Doctors have warned that hot nights are particularly dangerous for the elderly, as it is more difficult for their bodies to recover from heat stress caused during hot days. Look out for the signs of heat stroke in older people, and remember some of these could require assistance, such as muscle cramps, confusion, headaches and nausea.
With this in mind, here are a few tips on how to stay safe during the warm summer months:
- 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 or not able to do so then 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, head wear 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.
Only if it’s safe to do so, leave your windows open during the night to allow cool air into your residence and turn off any non-essential lights and electrical items you have to stop they generating unwanted heat on warm days.
Follow these tips and you should stay cool and enjoy the summer, if you want more information we have another article here with more tips.