Supporting vulnerable people before and during a heatwave
To reduce the risks associated with the heatwave, the NHS advises: stay out of the sun and in the shade, wear cool clothing and aim to drink a glass of water per hour.
Who is at risk?
There are certain factors that increase an individual’s risk during a heatwave. These include:
- Older age: especially those over 75 years old, or those living on their own and who are socially isolated, or in a care home
- Chronic and severe illness: including heart conditions, diabetes, respiratory or renal insufficiency, Parkinson’s disease or severe mental illness. Medications that potentially affect renal function, sweating, thermoregulation or electrolyte balance can make this group more vulnerable to the effects of heat
- Inability to adapt behaviour to keep cool: having Alzheimer’s, a disability, being bed bound, too much alcohol, babies and the very young
- Environmental factors and over exposure: living in a top floor flat, being homeless, activities or jobs that are in hot places or outdoors and include high levels of physical exertion