Jul 20, 2016
Jason Axford, lead quality development manager at Care UK, explained: “While many people look forward to the summer months, it is important to remember not everyone enjoys the hot weather. In fact for some people high temperatures can be incredibly dangerous, triggering breathing problems, heat exhaustion and dehydration.
“This is even more of a concern for older people, who are more likely to feel the effects of a sunny spell. Our kidneys become less effective as we age and our body water content decreases, which means the threat of dehydration can become a real issue – and this is a frequent cause of hospitalisation among older people.
“Ageing and conditions such as dementia also affect the body’s ability to feel thirst, so some people may well forget to drink; while others may also avoid fluids later in the day so they do not have to get up in the night. It is therefore vital to help loved ones and older people in our local communities to get plenty of fluids – especially during a prolonged hot spell.”
Jason has highlighted some of his top tips to keeping hydrated in warmer weather, from Eating as we age – Care UK’s guide for family carers on how to successfully support individuals to eat well and stay hydrated in older age.
Jason added: “It is important to look out for signs of dehydration in older people including muscle cramps in the arms, legs or stomach, mild confusion, weakness or sleep problems. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should rest in a cool place out of the sun and drink plenty of fluids, but it is important to contact a GP if symptoms persist or worsen.”
For more top tips about healthy eating in older age, download Care UK’s Eating as we age – a free guide for older people and their family carers on how to eat well and stay hydrated in older age.
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