8 ways to keep elderly relatives cool during a heatwave

With warm weather set to continue, we found out what you can do to help keep loved ones safe as the mercury rises.

Not everyone always enjoys the warm weather though and for some it’s not only uncomfortable, it can also lead to health problems and heat stroke, something that’s particularly dangerous for the elderly.

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Expert homecare provider Helping Hands has shared its top tips on helping older relatives endure the extreme heat.

How to recognise over heating

When it is particularly warm outside, it is important to know how to spot overheating.

Look out for these symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Confusion and other behavioural changes
  • Feeling sick
  • Feeling dizzy, weak or faint (and even fainting)
  • Muscle spasms or cramps
  • Swollen ankles
  • Thirstiness

Keeping loved ones cool

Keeping cool is not just about drinking plenty of iced water.

Here are our tips to keep loved ones cool if you’re worried about overheating.

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1. Take time to refresh

During warmer weather, having regular cooler showers, baths, or washes can be refreshing, and can lower body temperature.

If you are planning on heading out, place some damp washcloths in a cool bag with an ice pack, so they are ready for you if you need to lower your temperature in a hurry.

2. Take a rest

While in ordinary weather conditions, maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle should be encouraged, during warm weather strenuous physical activity should be kept to a minimum.

Doing too much in the heat can lead to dehydration, which can dramatically hinder the body’s ability to stay cool.

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3. Eat cool foods

 

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Foods with a high water content are extremely useful when it comes to keeping cool.

This includes salad foods such as cucumber, iceberg lettuce and celery; vegetables such as cauliflower and peppers; and fruits like strawberries, grapefruit and melon.

4. Wear looser clothing

It may seem obvious, but light, loose clothing made from cotton can also help to maintain a safe temperature.

Avoid anything too tight fitting, and opt for clothes in white or pastel shades as these tend not to absorb heat like darker shades do.

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5. Avoid peak hours

If you or your loved ones need to go outside during the warm weather, try sticking to the coolest times of the day – before 11am and after 3pm.

6. Keep the heat out

Take steps to make sure the heat stays outside.

Keep curtains or blinds closed so the sun doesn’t shine into the home and heat it up.

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7. Let the air flow through

Once the temperature outside has cooled so it’s lower than it is indoors, open any windows to allow the breeze to flow through.

8. Keep the air cool

To help cool the air in and around your home, be sure to keep house plants and outdoor plants nicely watered.

How do you stay safe in warm weather? Let us know in the Comments section below.

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