Checking on Neighbours this Summer
Extreme heat can affect anybody, but people over 70 are particularly at risk of heat stroke and dehydration. There are many factors which can cause heat stress and heat-related illness, including:
- Dehydration. To keep healthy, our body temperature needs to stay around 36.5°C. The body cools itself by sweating, which normally accounts for 70 to 80 per cent of the body’s heat loss. If a person becomes dehydrated, they don’t sweat as much and their body temperature keeps rising.
- Being in hot, poorly ventilated or confined areas.
- Sun exposure. Especially on hot days, you should try and avoid being out in the sun between 11am and 3pm.
When checking in, remind friends and neighbours to:
- Drink more water. Even if they’re not thirsty, it is important to keep hydrated.
- Stay somewhere cool. Try and make their house as cool as possible by closing blinds during the day to block out sun and opening windows when there is a cool breeze. If their house is sweltering then perhaps a trip to the movies or library where there is air-conditioning may be in order.
- Be sun smart. If they do have to go outside in the heat make sure they wear a hat and sunscreen.
- Plan ahead. Schedule activities for the coolest parts of the day and stock up on essentials so you don’t have to go out in the heat.
- Never leave anyone in the car. The temperature can double in just minutes.
It is important to regularly check in with friends and neighbours to make sure they are doing ok, particularly if they live alone. If something doesn’t seem right, your neighbour has not opened their blinds all day, you have not seen them around lately, their car has not moved for days, this is when a phone call or knock on the door could help save a life.
Please always ring the Village Nurse or press your alarm for assistance if you feel there is something wrong.