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Tonbridge home care provider urges older people to stay hydrated this summer
Following the high temperatures this weekend, local home care provider Bluebird Care Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells has issued a warning to older people across the borough to stay hydrated this summer.
The company has launched its 'Summer Hydration' campaign to help educate vulnerable elderly people about the harmful effects of heat and sun exposure.
"High temperatures and hot weather can be incredibly dangerous, particularly for elderly people,” says Clare Mortlock, Operations Manager at Bluebird Care Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.
“During the summer heatwave last year, Office of National Statistics figures show that there were nearly 995 more deaths than the average for the same months during the 2012-2017 period. Thousands of people end up in hospital each year due to heat and allergies brought on by the hot weather.
“Dehydration reduces the body's ability to sweat and maintain a normal temperature, so we are encouraging people across Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells to seriously consider their hydration this summer and to take positive steps to increase their fluid intake during hot weather. High temperatures and sun exposure are extremely serious and potentially life threatening.”
Ensuring adequate intake of fluids is essential to avoiding heat-related conditions including heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration. Government recommendations suggest everyone should have around six to eight glasses a day, which can be water or sugar-free drinks.
Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS England, said: “It’s really important to take simple precautions like drinking plenty of water, using high-factor sunscreen and remembering to take allergy medication if you need it – as is making sure to check in on neighbours and loved ones who can suffer the most from heat and pollen.”
As part of the campaign, Bluebird Care's team will ensure that elderly people are properly advised on the best way to stay hydrated during scheduled home care visits.
Bluebird Care has put together the following tips to help people avoid heat related illness and ensure everyone is prepared for the hot weather:
* Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing to allow your body to cool properly.
* Protect against sunburn with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.
* Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and help your body sweat to maintain a normal body temperature.
* Take extra precautions with certain medications. Be on the lookout for heat-related problems if you take medications that can affect your body's ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat.
* Don’t sit in a parked car, as temperatures in a car can rise by up to 10°C in 15 minutes.
* Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day and try to schedule exercise or physical labor for cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening.
* Be cautious if you're at increased risk. If you have a history of previous heat illness, avoid the heat and act quickly if you notice symptoms of overheating.