Elderly people, and particularly over 75s, are more vulnerable to very hot weather than younger adults. This is due to a combination of factors.
Firstly, because the kidneys become less active over time, they become less efficient at producing a hormone which tells us we’re dehydrated and makes us thirsty.
Older people are also are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat. They’re also more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or that limit or stop sweating.
As well as our more general advice on staying well during summer, our hot weather tips for the elderly include:
Symptoms of dehydration or heat exhaustion and heatstroke in the elderly are the same as younger adults and children. However, many of the symptoms are not exclusive, and can be easily mistaken for symptoms of pre-existing conditions.
If you spot any of these signs either in yourself or someone you care for, you can always call NHS 111 for guidance.
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