How to stay cool in a heatwave

While many of us look forward to bright summer days, warm weather can be a challenge for older people, or for younger adults who need care for disabilities. During a heatwave the risk of sunburn, sunstroke or dehydration increases dramatically. We've had some scorching temperatures in 2017, and although August hasn't been too warm so far, an Indian summer could be on its way. Here at Tendacare, we'd like to share some tips to help avoid heat-related problems at home.

1. Drink plenty of water. Staying well hydrated is absolutely vital during a heatwave. Aim to drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day. Drink before you feel thirsty; if you're already parched, it's a sign that dehydration is beginning to have an effect. Tea and coffee are not as good at keeping you hydrated as water, because caffeine is a diuretic, causing more trips to the toilet. Avoid alcohol as this is also a diuretic.

2. Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm - the hottest hours of the day. If you are outdoors, apply sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat and cool cotton clothing, and seek shade wherever possible. Remember, though, that a little sunlight on your skin now and again does you good, as it's essential for the production of Vitamin D which helps maintain strong bones.Short bursts of sunshine in the morning or later in the afternoon are best, but never let your skin redden or burn.

3. Eat well. We tend to feel listless and less hungry in very hot weather, especially as we grow older. However, it's important to keep eating as normally as possible in order to replace salts lost as we perspire. Aim to eat more salads and fruits, as these contain a lot of water -cucumber is 95% water!

4. Sun-proof your home. Close curtains and blinds, especially in south-facing rooms which catch the most sunlight. At night when it's cooler, open the windows for a much-needed blast of fresh air. 

5. Keep your skin hydrated with a water spritzer. A quick spritz on your face and arms has an instant cooling effect, and it's even better if you moisturise your skin afterwards to lock the moisture in. Another way of cooling down is to place a clean, damp flannel or cloth on your forehead or the back of your neck.

6. Act fast if you feel unwell. Call for help if you are experiencing any signs of heat-related illness, such as muscle cramps, confusion, dizziness or disorientation. If you have a personal alarm, press the button on your pendant to get help. You can also seek advice from the NHS non-emergency service by dialling 111, or dial 999 if it's an emergency. 

At Tendacare, we make it a priority to ensure every client is safe, comfortable and hydrated when the temperature soars. Our highly-skilled staff are trained to follow expert advice in extreme weather conditions, offering compassion and reassurance for people who need care in their own homes. 

If you'd like to know more about our Surrey-based homecare service, and how it can provide additional help for you or a loved one, please get in touch on 01372 272240 or via our contact form. 


41 The Street,
KT21 1AA

Enquiries: 01372 272240

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