Some like it hot... But not everyone - Care Community

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Some like it hot... But not everyone


Hot weather isn’t so great if you’re elderly. In fact, overheating can potentially be life-threatening for older people because they can’t regulate their body temperature so well. They don’t even have to go outside to suffer the effects of heat. Just by sitting in an over-heated room for hours, they can soon succumb to heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

How do you keep your loved ones cool when the temperature rises? What do you do to help them if they overheat?

Share your advice with Care Community members. It could be a life-saver. And that would be cool.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Care Community team

2 Replies

I am grateful that so far, at 86, I do not have symptoms of Alzheimer's. One of my first cousins on my mother's side of my family died from early onset Alzheimer's. She was a brilliant, compassionate women and good at sports. I am indirectly affected by Alzheimer's because, in addition to that cousin, my mother, one of her two brothers, and the son of my mother's sister all had Alzheimer's. So far, none of my three children in their 50s and 60s have the disease.


Wow I can absolutely identify with that. As an oldie I always explain it as 'my thermostat has stopped working'. I now can't stand either extreme of temperature, but this summer I have suffered dreadfully from heat, particularly in my small, over-insulated apartment. It's a wonderful cosy space in winter with no need for heating most of the time, but the downside is that it is baking me in the summer.

To help myself, I rise early, throw open all the windows and partially draw the curtains across to keep out the sun, and of course, heavier, lined curtains will do this better. Any form of cooking sends the temperature rocketing, so I don't use my oven at all, and, where possible eat things like a couple of slices of meat from the deli counter with maybe some microwaved new potatoes and a salad. Failing that, a quickly microwaved ready meal. Even my TV screen will generate enough heat to make me uncomfortable so I deny myself that and listen to the radio instead.

If a really hot, dry day is forecast, I pack myself up a picnic and go off to our local river, or Common, and find a tree to sit under and stay there for the day.

If you like chilled drinks and ice-creams, those can help to cool you down, but for myself I cannot abide drinking anything cold, so I pass on that, and drink hot tea, allowing the sweating from that to cool my skin somewhat.

If I'm home, I'll use a bowl of chilled water with ice cubes in to sponge down my skin from time to time and just let the water dry on its own, not towel off, and last thing at night I shower and don't dry off, just lie on a towel on top of the bed, until I feel really cool.

And of course I use fans, though on the hottest of days, they just circulate hot air and don't really help that much.

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