Caring in a heatwave
June 29th, 2018
Caring for someone in a heatwave can be very challenging. We've put together a few tips to help you avoid dehydration when the weather heats up.
Hot weather can stress out our bodies and dehydration is something we all need to be mindful of during a heatwave.
However, it can be tricky to recognise the signs of dehydration, particularly when so many of them might mirror the symptoms of other conditions in people we look after. We’ve put together a quick check list of things to look out for along with some top tips on avoiding dehydration.
So, what do you need to look out for?
- Dry mouth
- Reduced output of urine
- Dark coloured urine
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Sunken eyes
- Confusion or disorientation
- Difficulty walking
- Dry skin
- Inability to sweat or produce tears
Some practical tips to avoid dehydration:
- Make drinks look appealing! Add ice and lemon to water to encourage reluctant drinkers to keep their fluids topped up.
- Leave the bathroom light on at night. If you or someone you care for is worried about going to the loo at night, leaving the bathroom light on can add reassurance and reduce the risk of falls.
- Give a full glass of water with medication. If someone is used to taking medication with just a swig, try offering them a full glass instead – every opportunity to intake fluid should be maximised.
- Adjust a menu to include more wet foods like jelly, soups or salad which has a high water content.
- It's fairly obvious but avoid going outside in the hottest parts of the day. Keeping windows and curtains closed between 11am and 3pm can reduce the ambient temperature indoors. Do open windows again when the heat of the day has passed.
- And if it really heats up, consider spraying the ground outside windows with water (as long as you're not creating slip hazards) to cool down the air passing over the area.
- Stay in regular contact. Try and ensure someone is visiting at least once a day to keep an eye out for dehydration and over-heating.
For more info have a look at these links below:
NHS Heatwave advice
NHS Dehydration advice