Red sun in the sky. Photo Cristian Lozan

Tips for keeping cool in hot weather

The importance of staying cool and keeping well in hot weather cannot be over-estimated, and older people can be particularly susceptible to heat-related illness. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition and can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated. All of us - neighbours, family and friends should look out for each other and in particular provide whatever support we can for older people, particularly those living alone.

Age UK offers a range of free information and advice designed to help older people live well during the summer months and protect themselves when the temperature soars. Here's some top tips for staying cool and well in the warmer weather:

Tips for staying cool in hot weather

1. Stay inside during the hottest time of the day - late morning to mid-afternoon

If you do go out use sunscreen of factor 15 or above, wear a hat and stay in the shade if possible.

2. When inside, try to keep your house cool

Keep curtains and blinds closed in rooms that catch the sun.

3. Avoid or limit strenuous activities like housework and gardening

Try to do these activities when it's cooler in the early morning or evening.

4. When travelling always carry a bottle of water and drink lots of fluid even if you aren't thirsty

Drink lots of water but limit drinks with caffeine and avoid alcohol as it can make dehydration worse.

5. Choose the right clothes

It may sound obvious, but light-coloured, loose cotton clothing can help you stay cool in the heat. Dark colours absorb the light and can make you feel even warmer.

6. Think about your feet

Allowing your feet to breathe is important when the weather is hot so wearing open toe sandals is an excellent way to stop your feet getting sweaty and smelly. Avoid flip flops, which can be hard to walk in and opt for sandals which support your feet. Sandals that fasten with Velcro or adjustable straps are a good idea if your feet swell up in the heat.

7. Cool off with cold water

Take nice cool baths or showers. Try splashing your face with cold water or placing a cool damp cloth on the back of your neck.

8. Eat normally but try to have more cold foods

Salads and fruits are particularly good as they contain a lot of water.

9. Check for weather forecasts and temperature warnings

You can find these on TV, radio, mobile app or website

10. If you live alone, ask a relative or friend to visit or phone to check that you are not having difficulties during periods of extreme heat.

It's important to be aware of friends and neighbours during a heat wave and to let people know if you are on your own and have any concerns. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition and can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated.

For more information visit Age UK's website, who help people with information and advice on a broad range of issues such as claiming benefits, exploring housing options, paying for care and support, staying healthy, and making the most of the Internet.