5 top tips for older people staying cool this summer

With heatwaves being experienced in parts of Australia and high temperatures expected this weekend, here are 5 top tips for minimising heat stress for older people.
  1. Stay indoors
  2. Drink plenty of fluids - preferably water, if people are tea drinkers try placing tea cups full of water around the home in strategic spots to prompt drinking
  3. Keep as cool as possible by using air conditioning or fans if available, and use moist cool towels to moisten skin
  4. Store water in the fridge to remain cool
  5. Wear light, loose fitting clothing

Why are older people more vulnerable to heat?

People aged 65 years and over are at increased risk of heat-related illnesses and need special care in hot weather. Risk factors include living alone, chronic medical problems and certain medications. You should take steps to prevent heat stress on days when the temperature is predicted to rise above 30°C or so.

Ways residential care homes are keeping cool

Angela Raguz, General Manager Residential Care, HammondCare, shared a number of special strategies to help with extreme heat available for residential aged care homes to help ensure the comfort and safety of residents.

These include: 

  • Blinds would be closed all day
  • Air conditioning checks regularly to ensure they are working correctly
  • All services familiar with Critical Operations Standing Operating Procedures (COSOPS) in case of emergency
  • Ice blocks purchased for residents and staff
  • Iced water available all day
  • Hourly drinks supplied to all residents
  • Residents staying out of the sun
  • An additional night staff member per facility if temperatures are expected to be in the high late into the night
  • Fluids and observation will need to be carried into the night.

For more ways you can help an older person stay cool this summer, visit Better Health for more information.