Member News

Home Instead Senior Care urges care for older people in the sun

The country seems to have well and truly emerged from a long, cold winter with a welcome and steady rise in temperatures. With Ireland set to bask in the sunshine for the next few weeks Home Instead Senior Care has advised exercising caution for seniors in the sun.

Home Instead Senior Care Waterford has issued guidelines to enable people to put together a plan for how to assist an older person cope during extreme heat.

• Arrange to check on an older person twice a day if you can during extreme heat, especially if he/she lives alone. 

• Make sure the older person has a phone which will work during a power failure. If they have a safety alarm pendant, make sure this will work if the power was off.

• If an older person seems to be suffering from heat stress, they need to be cooled down immediately. Use cool baths, showers, or place cool, wet towels on their neck and underarms.

• Call a doctor or an ambulance if an older person’s condition does not improve within an hour after taking steps to cool them down, or if they have any heat related symptoms that are causing concern..

Keeping Cool

Try to encourage the older person to take simple steps to keep cool such as: rinsing a cloth in cool water and using it to wipe their arms and neck; sleeping with just a sheet over them; putting their feet in a bowl of cool water and/or putting a bowl of ice cubes in front of a fan to create a cool breeze.

Clothing and personal aids

Encourage them to wear light coloured, loose fitting clothing. A wide-brimmed hat that shades the face and covers the head is advisable if going outdoors in the heat.

Sunglasses should always be worn outside but make sure they are taken off before going inside to prevent an accident. 

Check that wheelchairs, walkers and other metal equipment that may be used by an older person do not become hot to touch, as this can cause a burn.

Eating and drinking

It is a good idea for an older person to have a water bottle with them at all times in the heat to avoid becoming dehydrated.

Encourage them to eat smaller meals more often during hot weather. Using stoves or ovens less often also keeps the temperature cooler in their home and reduces the risk of accidentally leaving them on.

Medicines

If they take prescribed medicines, they must continue to take these during periods of extreme heat. If you need more advice on particular medicines, speak to a pharmacist or a G.P.

If you are concerned about a senior family member or friend, call Home Instead Senior Care Waterford on 051 333966 or 058 75298 or visit www.homeinstead.ie.

 

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