ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, is urging older people to be careful and take necessary precautions as temperatures are set to rise this week, following separate warnings from Met Éireann, the HSE and the Department of Health, as daytime high temperatures are set to remain in the 27 to 30 degree range over coming days.
A status yellow weather warning has been issued by Met Éireann for “not unusual weather but conditions that may bring localised danger”. Older people can be more vulnerable during warmer weather conditions, and are at a greater risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, especially those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility.
The organisation is advising older people to keep cool and hydrated in the coming week, and to take regular breaks from the sun. If spending an extended period of time in the sun, ALONE has advised that older people regularly and liberally apply sunscreen, wear loose clothing, sunglasses and a hat. Older people should also keep a small drum of water in the refrigerator in the event that water pressure is significantly reduced or restricted. Fill up your kettle, pots and pans with water. If you notice a significant drop in water pressure, contact Irish Water on 1850 278 278.
ALONE is also calling on members of the public to check in on older people to ensure that they have everything they need and that they are keeping safe and cool in the heat. The organisation is asking older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the heatwave to call for assistance and help if needed.
Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “While it’s great to be able to get out and enjoy the good weather, we are reminding older people to take care and exercise caution in the heat, as this is a group which are at risk in extreme weather conditions. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be very harmful to over 65’s, particularly those who live alone or have existing health conditions. It is important to stay cool, drink plenty of water and to wear sunscreen and a hat when spending extended periods of time outdoors.”
He continued, “We are also calling on all members of the public to remember their older neighbours, friends and relatives living alone and to consider their needs; if there is anything you think you can help with, no matter how small, do reach out to them. It could make a world of difference to an older person during these challenging times. Finally, please continue to follow relevant public health advice to keep you and those around you safe from COVID-19.”
Contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community. Further information, including advice and tips for older people in extreme weather conditions, can be found on www.alone.ie .