Hot weather can be dangerous, and while we don’t often get extreme summer temperatures here in Ireland, the warmer weather can still put the elderly at risk. Hot weather, (anything over 25 degrees Celsius) can have an adverse effect on blood pressure, hydration, breathing, mobility and it can affect how the body responds to regular medication.
There are some basic precautions and ways to ensure older people keep cool in warm weather. Follow our simple advice to ensure the summer is an enjoyable and safe time of year.
1. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day, don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink – regularly sip water throughout the day. Try to avoid drinking too much caffeine and avoid drinking alcohol altogether.
2. Sit with your feet in a basin of cool water to help reduce your body temperature. Avoid using very cold water.
3. Use a cool wet facecloth or small towel to keep the back of the neck and wrists cool. Re-soak the cloth regularly in cool water to make sure it’s cold enough to be effective.
4. Keep clothing loose and as cool as possible. Opt for easily-removable light layers of natural, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen.
5. Keep the house as cool as possible by keeping curtains and blinds closed at the hottest times of the day and leaving them open at night, if safe to do so.
6. Eat cool meals and keep them light. Opt for pasta or chicken salads instead of hot, heavy dinners.
7. Take a tepid bath or shower, or wipe down with a cool cloth. Ensuring the water is just below body temperature (37 degrees Celsius) is a really effective way of cooling the body down.
8. If possible visit cooler locations, for example, a shopping centre with air conditioning or a library or coffee shop with the same.
9. Eat cool snacks, like frozen grapes, ice lollies or yoghurt.
10. Check in on elderly neighbours, relatives or friends during a hot spell and make sure they are hydrated, comfortable and managing the conditions. If you’re concerned about their condition seek help.
Clannad Care is the leading provider of home and hospital care it the South East. Contact us on 051 878947 to discover how we can help you care for your loved one. View a few breaks down of our services here