With the UK being hit by increasingly more and more heatwaves during the summer months, precautions must be taken by to eliminate the risk of overheating. Older people, in particular, are more susceptible to heat stroke because their bodies are unable to adjust to higher temperatures, unlike younger bodies.
It is important to recognise the symptoms of overheating: headaches, tiredness, confusion, feeling sick, feeling faint, muscle spasms or cramps, swollen ankles and thirstiness. At Lifton Home Lifts, our team has come up with a list of ways to help keep you cool this summer:
1) Stay hydrated
Older adults are more likely to be dehydrated, which can increase their risk of developing heatstroke. It is absolutely important that you keep hydrated this summer, by drinking plenty of water, even when you might not be feeling thirsty. You could keep a jug of water in the fridge if you do not like room temperature water. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine as these are more likely to dehydrate you.
2) Improve the air flow in your home
Make sure that you keep your windows open to improve the air flow in your home with a light breeze. This will probably benefit you most in the morning and evening, rather than at peak time in the afternoon. Investing in fans to place around your home will also keep you cool and make sure the air flows around your home. If you struggle to sleep at night, place a fan at the foot of your bed for a light breeze to blow over you during the night. You can find more top tips to get the best sleep in later life here in this post from April earlier this year.
3) Stay indoors and avoid strenuous activities
Older people should try to stay indoors, especially during peak times between 11am and 3pm. Since older bodies struggle to adjust to the temperature and chronic medical conditions can change their bodies’ responses to heat, it is best to keep cool rather than exerting yourself outdoors. Keep the curtains closed in your home to block out any direct sunlight which can heat up a room quickly. Strenuous activities should be avoided to prevent excessive sweating, causing body temperature to rise dramatically.
4) Eat cool foods
Cooling snacks such as ice lollies and frozen fruit can be a satisfying way to reduce your body temperature. You should also make an effort to eat light, cool meals such as salads and chicken, rather than heavy, hot meals like stews that will cause your body temperature to rise.
5) Avoid peak times
In the summer months, there are plenty of things to do as this post from last month highlights, but try to avoid going outdoors at peak times. If you have errands to run or plans involving leaving your home, try sticking to the coolest times of the day – before 11am and after 3pm.