Following this month’s record-breaking heat wave, Kent-based home care provider Bluebird Care Gravesham and Dartford has launched its ‘Summer Hydration’ campaign to protect vulnerable people from the harmful effects of heat and sun exposure.
As part of the campaign, older people, their families, friends and neighbours across Gravesham and Dartford are being urged to think seriously about staying hydrated this summer.
Siobhan Gournay, Care Manager at Bluebird Care Gravesham and Dartford, said: “The high temperatures that were recorded across Kent last week pose a serious risk to vulnerable people in our communities. We believe individuals have a moral duty to ensure that high risk groups – such as babies, children and the elderly – have adequate care and support to maintain their good health.
“Our Summer Hydration campaign sends out the strong message that heat and sun exposure is extremely serious and potentially life threatening. We’re urging people across the Gravesham and Dartford area to stay hydrated and prepare for hot weather with some simple tips to stay safe in high temperatures.”
As part of the campaign, Bluebird Care Gravesham and Dartford will be sharing tips and links to national resources on social media to ensure everyone is prepared for the hot weather. Bluebird Care’s team will also ensure that elderly people are properly advised on the best way to stay hydrated during scheduled home care visits.
In July 2016 there were a staggering 1,661 deaths recorded in England & Wales, with many elderly people sadly succumbing to the high temperatures. Ensuring adequate intake of fluids is essential to avoiding heat-related conditions including heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration.
Health experts recommend that everyone should drink around six to eight glasses of fluid a day, which can include water or sugar free drinks (NHS Eatwell Guide, 2016).
The NHS provides a number of tips for staying safe during high temperatures, including:
- Keeping your home cool by closing your blinds and curtains
- Avoiding extreme heat whenever possible
- Staying hydrated with water, avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks
- Staying alert by keeping up to date with weather forecasts
- Checking on relatives and neighbours who may be most at risk
- If you need to go outside plan ahead, have plenty of food and water as well as sun protection (sun cream, sun hat and sunglasses)
- Avoiding outings in the middle of the day, 11-3pm is the hottest part of the day.
Siobhan continued: “Many vulnerable people feel lonely and isolated and we are sometimes unaware of the real threat to life that extreme weather can cause to at risk groups, often because people simply don’t think to check that they are OK.
“Staying hydrated in the summer months is vital as the sun can catch us off guard, giving little time to take precautions against the heat. It’s important to start planning for the hotter weather now by making sure you are aware of the weather forecast, finding an hour during the day to keep cool, speaking to your neighbours about coping with extreme heat and making sure you are drinking enough fluids.”
For more free information about how to stay safe this summer, visit the NHS website: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Heatwave.aspx