The Spanish Geriatrics Society (SEGG) has published the following guidelines to help elderly people avoid falling ill because of the heat. Last year, according to a study carried out by the Spanish Society of Public Health and Health Administration, the heatwave last year caused 6,500 deaths in Spain.
All people over 65 are advised to take special precautions, but especially people aged 80 and over, or elderly people who:
– live alone or in high buildings with no lift,
– are overweight or underweight,
– suffer physical or mental handicap
– suffer a chronic illness (including heart, respiratory, metabolic…)
– are under heavy medication.
People in any of the above categories should avoid eating heavy meals and should make sure that they drink much more liquid than usual (non-alcoholic drinks).
This will help to avoid stomach complaints and dehydration.
They should also avoid taking walks and going outside during the hottest hours of the day (from 12 O’Clock to 4 O’Clock p.m.) and also avoid crowded public transport. It is advisable to wear light clothing and try to make your home as cool as possible – open windows, put blinds down etc.
During the heatwave, if elderly people feel any of the following symptons, they should contact a doctor as soon as possible: feeling dizzy, headache, leg cramps, sickness or high temperature.