Article 129 out of 1749
With recent record-breaking temperatures soaring well into the thirties and a hot summer predicted, a home care agency in Kent has launched a hydration campaign.
Siobhan Gournay, care manager at Bluebird Care Gravesham and Dartford, which provides home care and live in care services, is keen to get the message out that hot weather kills, especially for the vulnerable, who are at risk of heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration:
She said: “We believe individuals have a moral duty to ensure that high-risk groups – such as babies, children and the elderly – have adequate care and support to maintain their good health.
“Many vulnerable people feel lonely and isolated and we are sometimes unaware of the real threat to life that extreme weather can cause to at risk groups, often because people simply don't think to check that they are OK.
"Staying hydrated in the summer months is vital as the sun can catch us off guard, giving little time to take precautions against the heat. It’s important to start planning for the hotter weather now by making sure you are aware of the weather forecast, finding an hour during the day to keep cool, speaking to your neighbours about coping with extreme heat and making sure you are drinking enough fluids."
According to the Office of National Statistics, 19 July 2016 was one of the hottest days last year, which coincided with a drastic rise of 1,661 deaths recorded for England and Wales against the five-year average of 1,267. This was largely attributed to the high temperatures on this particular day which reached 33.5C (92.3F) at its height.
There is a danger that summer 2017 will have temperatures as high as last year, if not hotter, as 21 June has already been the hottest day on record for over 40 years.
As part of their Summer Hydration campaign, Bluebird Care Gravesham and Dartford will ensure that elderly people are properly advised on the best way to stay hydrated during scheduled home care visits.
They will also be sharing tips and links to national resources on social media to ensure everyone is prepared for the hot weather.
They are recommending that everyone should drink around six to eight glasses of fluids a day, which can include water or sugar free drinks.
The NHS Choices website also has the following advice for those concerned about vulnerable friends or family, including:
• Keeping your home cool by closing your blinds and curtains • Avoiding extreme heat whenever possible
• Staying hydrated with water, avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks
• Staying alert by keeping up to date with weather forecasts
• Checking on relatives and neighbours who may be most at risk
• If you need to go outside plan ahead, have plenty of food and water as well as sun protection (sun cream, sun hat and sunglasses)
• Avoiding outings in the middle of the day, 11-3pm is the hottest part of the day
According to Bluebird Care, even something simple like checking in on an elderly person during the extreme heat can make an enormous difference:
“Many vulnerable people feel lonely and isolated and we are sometimes unaware of the real threat to life that extreme weather can cause to at risk groups, often because people simply don't think to check that they are OK.” Said Ms Gournay.
To follow the campaign on social media, check @carekent and https://www.facebook.com/BluebirdCareKent/ for updates