It's officially the start of summer, and while many of us enjoy the warmer weather, with temperatures set to soar in the coming weeks, it's also a time when those who are elderly or vulnerable may be at risk.
The fact is, there are some groups who are more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions than most, which includes, the very old or very young, those who have mobility issues, sufferers of chronic health conditions including heart and respiratory issues, and those with extreme mental health issues.
During extremely hot weather older people can suffer effects on their health and can be more vulnerable to illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heatstroke and dehydration.
At Secure Healthcare solutions, all of our staff are trained to take extra care of you, or your loved ones in the heat, but here are some tips to help you to protect anyone who may be vulnerable this summer.
Keeping the Home Cool
Ideally, your home should be no hotter than around 21 degrees to promote good health. Investing in electric fans, and ensuring that they are placed in areas that will keep you/your loved one cool. Keep curtains drawn in times of direct sunlight to help to keep rooms as shaded as possible, and wherever you can, try and avoid metallic blinds which conduct further heat. Ideally where possible maintain a steady flow of air around the home, by opening windows and doors, but keeping in mind the safety of any vulnerable person within the home, and the security risks.
Hydration For Vulnerable People
It's essential to stay hydrated when the weather is extreme. If the person you care for has mobility issues, ensure that there is fresh water nearby, and consider keeping ice chips available for those who have trouble drinking. Consider having alternatives like ice lollies, or juices available. It's very easy for a vulnerable person to become dehydrated without letting you know, so consider things like setting timers to remind them/you to drink.
Keeping Safe in the Sun
It's strongly advisable that anyone, vulnerable or not, stays out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, the hottest parts of the day. If you are going out with a vulnerable adult, or child, ensure that they have adequate sun protection in the form of suncream of a high SPF factor, appropriate hats to keep shade on the face, and stay in the shade where possible.
During those particularly hot and humid times, there are some actions you can take to keep you or your loved one cool. For quick relief, running wrists or ankles under cold water can help to reduce body temperatures and cool down. A cool shower can also help, but where there are mobility issues, consider things like cooling mists or even a water spray to help alleviate the uncomfortable feelings associated with hot weather.
Appropriate Clothing and Bedding
Ensure that loose light clothing is worn, avoiding colours that promote heat, such as black trousers or t-shirts. Also, ensure that bedding is not conducting heat. Light coloured covers and cotton sheets are best. Where possible, move to a lightweight low tog duvet, or even just sheets to ensure that you don't become overheated in bed.
At Secure Healthcare Solutions, all of our staff are fully trained to deal with caring for you or your family in extreme weather, and take the upmost care to ensure that all of our customers are comfortable and retain dignity in hot weather conditions.
Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you with your care at home needs.