Most of us welcome the sunshine, but if you have a health condition or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, it’s important to make sure you stay safe in this hot weather.
Why is hot weather a problem?
The main risks in a heatwave are:
Dehydration (not having enough water)
Overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
Heat exhaustion and heatstroke
Who is at risk?
A heatwave can affect anyone, but some of the most vulnerable people are:
Older people, especially those over 75
People with serious chronic conditions, especially heart or breathing problems
People with mobility problems – for example, people with Parkinson's disease or who have had a stroke
People on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control
People with serious mental health problems
Babies and young children
People who are physically very active
People who misuse alcohol or drugs
Tips for coping in hot weather
Shut the windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can keep the room cool by using reflective material outside the windows or by using light-coloured curtains (remember, dark curtains could make the room hotter). You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler.
Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don't go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat.
Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.
Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies (food, water and any medications you need).
Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
This information is based on the guidance published on www.nhs.uk. For more information about what to do in a heatwave, please visit the NHS website.
If you’re currently accessing Hospiscare services and are worried about how to cope with the hot weather, please ask your Hospiscare nurse for more advice.