Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For health information and advice, read our pages on coronavirus. Learn about the government response to coronavirus on GOV.UK.

Help elderly people in your life stay safe in the heat

With the heatwave that has been affecting Europe expected to land across the UK and stay into the weekend people are being asked to look out for frail and elderly neighbours, family and friends. 

During last year’s heatwave dehydration among people who are frail and elderly was a significant cause of increased and unnecessary hospital admissions. 

Older frail people are more vulnerable to dehydration during hot weather. 

Dr Steve Fawcett a Staffordshire GP explained: “There are lots of changes that occur as we age that increase our risk of dehydration. 

“Some older people have a decreased sensation of thirst. Diabetes, dementia, problems with eyesight, a fear of falling or difficulty swallowing can also contribute to older people becoming dehydrated. Some medications also mean you need to take extra liquid. 

“I would ask anyone who has contact with older people during the hot weather to try and make sure they have easy access to fluids and that they are drinking regularly. 

“Dehydration is a common contributor to ill health and admissions to hospital for older people but it is preventable.” 

People will find that their local community pharmacy can advise on dehydration and is well stocked to deal with minor ailments and injuries associated with hot weather, such as insect bites or sunburn. If you are feeling unwell and need advice then NHS 111 is the number to call.