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Abacare gives free ‘keeping cool’ tips to elderly in Wales

A Welsh care provider is offering free advice to the elderly and their carers to help keep them cool this month (July 2019) as the heat wave continues across the county.

Abacare, which provides care services across Wales, says it is vital people appreciate the dangers associated with over-heating and dehydration, and act accordingly.

Ffion Evans, Registered Manager at Abacare, said: “Elderly are one of the most vulnerable age groups in hot weather. Our ability to regulate our body temperature decreases with age and our brain function also slows, making it harder for us to respond to temperature changes.

“It is essential that older people stay cool, especially if there are several hot days and weeks in a row, as we’ve been experiencing recently, and to help, we’ve put together a list of tips the elderly can follow to keep cool:

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating alcohol and caffeine drinks
  • Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment, such as computers and printers, to avoid generating additional heat
  • Keep curtains closed to block out heat
  • Sleep in a cooler room at night
  • Eat cooler foods such as salads, which also have a higher water content
  • Avoid too much physical activity, as it can cause you to over heat
  • If going outside, always wear a hat, sunglasses and sun cream.

“Drinking plenty of water is one of the most important things an elderly person can do in the heat. Dehydration can affect us all in hot weather but particularly the elderly and especially those with dementia, who are sometimes unable to detect thirst easily. Dehydration can also lead to complications due to toxins in the bloodstream and can affect the liver and kidney. Older people can also experience dry, itchy skin if dehydrated.

“Some elderly people who live alone, are simply too frail or have reduced mobility will find taking care in hot weather difficult, so it’s important to check up on any loved-ones, friends or neighbours regularly.

“If an elderly person is on medication for circulatory problems, being over hot can lead to the inability to produce sweat, meaning the body cannot cool itself and can eventually lead to heatstroke.

“It’s a good idea to have a fan in any rooms or a hand-held fan within easy reach. You could even keep a damp flannel or cloth to hand to help cool the face and neck.

“Our carers will be making sure all our service users are keeping as cool as they can this summer. We will also be offering anyone who calls us during normal office hours free advice, and they don’t have to be a carer or user of ours, anyone can call in for assistance. Please call us on 01248 677 919.”

Abacare is looking for kind, honest, caring and reliable individuals who wish to have a stable and long-term career in care, and who would like to forge rewarding relationships with the service users they care for.

Ffion added: “Being a carer is a highly skilled, professional vocational occupation that is essential to the fabric of our society and the beauty of a job for life means people can start at the very bottom and work their way up with training and qualifications.

“In today’s changing world of employment, we pride ourselves on being able to offer long-term job security and career prospects.

“No experience is necessary to become a carer as free, full training is offered, which includes a company induction, first aid, information on dementia, health and safety, food safety, infection control, handling medication and moving and handling service users, with the opportunity to achieve Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) after the initial three months probationary period.

“New recruits are given free uniforms, access to national staff discount scheme for all major brands as well as 28 days paid holiday, paid travel between calls and paid mileage.”