As the weather heats up – did you know older people need to be more careful of overheating and heat stroke because their bodies can’t adjust to high temperatures as well as younger people can? Being hydrated is also extremely important for certain medications to work properly.
Older people are more vulnerable in the hot weather because:
- Their bodies don’t adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature.
- Medical conditions can change their body responses to heat.
- Prescription medicines can impair their body’s ability to regulate temperature or could actually prevent sweating.
Tips to keep older people cool this Summer:
- Don’t rely on them feeling thirsty especially if they are living with Dementia. Encourage them to drink plenty of cool water throughout the day.
- Avoid all alcohol and caffeine
- Add more fruit and vegetable to their diet which are high water content – such as, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, watermelon, strawberries, lemons, peaches, blackberries and oranges
- Buy some ice lollies or make some! You can add a cupcake liner onto the ice lolly to catch all the drips
- Some older people may really resist drinking fluids. Try and entice them with flavoursome smoothies made of fruit, milkshakes or even sports drinks
- Make cold meals like chicken or pasta salad instead of hot dishes like roast dinners or casseroles
- Place a cool flannel on the back of the neck. Ensure a bowl of cool water is near to recool the flannel
- Sit and put their feet in a bowl of cool (but not too cold) water
- Keep the house as cool as possible by keeping curtains and blinds closed during the hottest part of the day
- Ensure they wear layers of lightweight clothing made from cotton. This is so they can adjust o the temperature throughout the day by removing or adding layers
- Take a cool shower, bath, or wipe-down and keep the water just below body temperature