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Caring for elderly parents in the hot weather - Carers UK Forum

Caring for elderly parents in the hot weather

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi there, with all of the recent hot weather (dare I say heat wave) in the UK I just wanted to hear some of your best tips for making sure your elderly relatives are safe in extremely hot weather.

I found a lot of threads about caring for the elderly in really cold weather, and I know there are possibly more risks involved like hypothermia and slipping on ice leading to broken bones. However, dehydration and sun related illnesses also worry me - does anyone else worry about this with their elderly relatives?

I found a few tips online, like this article which https://www.helpline.co.uk/hot-weather- ... r-seniors/ but would love to hear any first-hand, practical tips or worries you might have.
Two words.

Wet socks.

My mother (in residential care) will happily drink plenty of water - but only if it's really cold! We bought her a small wide-necked food flask which the care assistants fill up with ice cubes for her at the start of each day and she can then add a few to each glass of water she pours herself.
At night, a damp sheet is good. Trouble is, they might hate that! But it will cool the skin, and create a kind of 'cool zone' over the bed as the water from the sheet evaporates.

I'm not sure what they cost, but investing in a small, portable air-con unit might be an idea, so as to keep the bedroom cool overnight?

You could do what we used to do when holidaying in the med. Turn on the aircon a few hours before bedtime, really getting the room chilly as possible (windows and doors closed obviously), and then turning it off once in bed (especially if it's noisy). Hopefully, as the room starts to warm naturally, the ambient temperature outside starts to drop anyway, reaching its natural coolness by dawn, so the bedroom should stay relativeliy cool for the rest of the night.

Those tiny hand held battery driven fans might be useful during the day?

By and large, though, keeping wet is the best way to keep cool.

Mister sprays on face and back of the neck, and maybe even dampening the hair as well.

Me, I just have cold showers! I had four yesterday I think. Lost count a bit. Put my (few) clothes on when still wet, for maximum benefit.

Overheating is a very, very real problem for the elderly and ill, though - remember that heatwave in France a few years ago? Quite a few people died alas.
Dad is still telling me to shut the windows and doors and put the heaters on because of the cold draft :shock: :silly: :woohoo:
dehydration is probably the biggest problem but remember fluids don't just have to water !

Tea, coffee, fruit juice and soft drinks all count as do jellies, ice cream and soup (although perhaps not welcome in the hot weather it is still fluid).

My Mum never lost her preference for sitting out in the garden in fine weather - I just had to make sure that she was shaded either with a large garden parasol or under a tree.
Having lived in the hottest part of Australia, I'd say make sure they are wearing light cotton clothing.
My dad insisted on wearing his "sports coat" even when it was sweltering. I kept telling him to "take some clothes off"!
My mum would insist on wearing nylon foundation garments and moan it was too hot! I wear pretty sleeveless tops and shorts at home, loose crop trousers if I'm out and about, and open sandals.
Stay inside during the hottest part of the day, then enjoy being able to sit outside in the warm evening air. We tend to eat our evening meal later, don't feel like eating much when it's really hot.
Have drinks bottles with "sports caps" so you can have a sip whenever you feel like it, especially when out and about, without fear of spillage.
Have thermal blinds or curtains, closed on the sunny side of the house, during the day. Open wide as the sun goes round. Once the temperature goes down outside, open all doors and windows.
Don't cook. Fill the fridge with salads, cold meat, pies, jellies. Keep plenty of individual ice creams in the fridge. I've started buying "mini Magnum" ice creams, two little ones through the day are better than one big one.
I find that a cup of tea is much more refreshing than sweet cold drinks. Whenever I travel I always take my teapot, tea and travel kettle. I know it's nuts, but then so am I!
BB, my MIL used to have a really handy gadget to take abroad to make tea. Basically it was a 'kettle element' that was wired back to fit in a plug (travel adapted as necessary re different voltages), but you simply stuck the element end in a mug of cold water and boiled it on the spot!

It was brilliant.

trouble is, I couldn't find it when I cleared her flat tobe sold, and I suspect these days it would totally fail all the health and safety checks.

But it was SUCH good way of ensuring that your tea abroad was made with BOILING WATER. This is something that 'foreigners' (!) just do NOT UNDERSTAND....

(I can remember in the US once asking for English Breakfast tea for breakfast, and the teapot arrived, nice and china, with the cup, and the cold, pasteurised milk - not the endless half and half you get in America, etc etc etc, and I waited for the tea to mash properly and then poured it out ....to findit was by then merely a pot of luke warm water into which the T-bag HAD NOT BEEN PUT. Bah bah and double bah!)

(PS the way to get 'proper' bacon in the USA apparently, is to ask for 'Canadian bacon' - that way you get back bacon, not the very crispy streaky bacon that the Americans eat.)(though that is great crumbled on American pancakes with maple syrup and whipped butter - yum yum!)
PPS - Also, the Americans haven't yet discovered electric kettles. Really weird. They use the old kind that you have to heat on a stove! I wonder if Canadians have proper kettles? In New Zealand they call them jugs. Weird. My son's nanny used to say 'I'll just put the jug on'....

How strange foreigners are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :)

(Still, the Continentals do provide those useful little 'bathettes' in the bathrooms for washing out our smalls at night.....)(!! :) :) )
We used to use those all the time when I was a student in Germany. Here's one on e-Bay called travel heater or element or something:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/201577074625?c ... 792&crdt=0