Hot advice to help you handle the heat

Last Updated: July 20, 2022 This post was written by Clive Price

Older people – especially those over 75 – need to take action in hot weather.

That’s the message from the UK Government, who’ve issued a seven-point plan to stay safe this summer:

  • shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight, external shutters or shades are very effective, while internal blinds or curtains are less effective but cheaper and easier to install;
  • take a break from the heat by moving to a cooler part of the house (especially for sleeping);
  • remember that it may be cooler outside in the shade or in a public building (such as places of worship, local libraries or supermarkets); consider a visit as a way of cooling down;
  • open windows (when it is safe to do so) when the air feels cooler outside than inside, for example, at night. Try to get air flowing through the home;
  • check that central heating is turned off;
  • turn off lights and electrical equipment that is not in use;
  • for more information on how to stay safe in hot weather, call NHS 111 or visit NHS Choices.

The Met Office have offered additional pieces of advice, including – drink plenty of fluids; keep out of the sun between 11am-3pm, when UV rays are strongest; walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out; avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day; make sure you take water with you, if travelling.

Age UK also have a special page about staying safe in a heatwave. This features such practical advice about spotting symptoms of overheating. Extreme heat and dry conditions can cause us to dehydrate and our bodies to overheat.

Watch out for certain signs, say Age UK – particularly for muscle cramps in arms, legs or stomach, mild confusion, weakness or sleep problems. If you have any of these, rest in a cool place and drink plenty of fluids. Seek medical advice if symptoms persist or worsen.