Help a neighbour in the heat

The very welcome warm weather is a mixed blessing for the frail and elderly who can find the heat difficult.

Somerset County Council is asking neighbours, friends and relatives to keep an eye out for anyone who may be struggling to cope in the sustained heat and might need help maintaining their health and well-being.

The Council’s staff and organisations it works with have been asked to make sure that the people they care for are not already suffering any of the tell-tale signs.

Cabinet Member for Health and Well-being, Christine Lawrence, said: “Intense heat can be as perilous to health as the cold, with the effects of dehydration or heatstroke being severe and the symptoms often coming on very quickly.

“I would ask that people keep an eye on anyone they know who might be struggling to cope. Making sure someone is keeping their home cool, drinking plenty of water and not having to do any strenuous activity in the heat will go a long way to keeping them healthy.”

People with heart or respiratory problems are particularly at risk. Medical help should be sought for prolonged symptoms such as dizziness, breathlessness, confusion and cramps.

If temperatures reach a specified level the Council will put into action its Heatwave Plan, written in line with national guidance. The trigger will be successive days of highs above 30C and night-time temperatures not dipping below 15C.

For more information on avoiding heat related health problems go to http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Heatwave.aspx.

If you are concerned about someone’s health and well-being because of the heat call the NHS 111 service. If someone is suffering heatstroke it is a medical emergency and an ambulance should be called.