As you’re no doubt all aware, we’ve been enjoying a serious heatwave this summer – but as lovely as it is to see the sun for a change, it’s important to know how to cope in serious heat, particularly if you’re above a certain age.
Those providing home care in Reading and elsewhere around the UK should make sure that the people they’re looking after are doing well as the mercury rises. Ensure they don’t spend excessive amounts of time outside at the hottest time of the day, between 11:00 and 15:00. If they do go out, they should wear a broad-rimmed hat and stick to shaded areas as much as possible.
People should be wearing loose, light-coloured, lightweight cotton clothing and drink between six to eight glasses of water each day, more if it’s particularly hot. Drinks with caffeine should be limited and alcohol should be avoided because it can make dehydration worse.
Sunscreen should be used when outside, even if your skin isn’t exposed for long periods of time. Use an SPF of 15 at the very least, putting a generous layer on half an hour before going in the sun and reapplying at least every two hours.
Signs of dehydration include muscle cramps in arms, legs and stomach, weakness, sleep problems and mild confusion. If you experience any of these, find a cool place to sit and rest, and drink plenty of fluids. If your symptoms continue or get worse, seek medical advice as soon as you can.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, dizziness, vomiting, intense thirst, nausea, a fast pulse and heavy sweating.