Caring for Older People in Warmer Weather
High temperatures are often experienced across Australia every summer and you must be alert to the possibility of heatwaves. Families and carers need to be particularly aware of the severe hazards associated with extreme heat events. Older people living in the community may suffer from heat stress and those who live alone without regular contact from others may be particularly at risk.
- Check cooling systems are working and set at the required temperature
- Ensure people are appropriately dressed for weather conditions
- Use sunscreen and keep skin covered when exposed to direct sunlight
- Avoid going out between 11am and 3pm
- Curtains and blinds are closed during extreme temperatures
- Small amounts of fluid are readily available
- Discourage alcohol or caffeinated beverages
- Ensure the person is checked on daily
The effects of heat-related illnesses can range from mild conditions such as a rash or cramps to very serious conditions such as severe confusion or heat stroke. If you are concerned about someone’s wellbeing, their general practitioner should be contacted immediately.