Beat the heat this summer

As published in La Fiamma, L’Angolo Della Terza Eta 13 January 2014

Welcome to 2014. We hope you are managing to stay cool this summer. Here are some tips to beat the heat:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Plan your day around the heat- avoid being outdoors between 11am and 5pm
  • Minimise physical activity
  • Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks
  • Check on elderly friends, neighbours and relatives, especially if they live alone
  • Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothes made from natural fibres like cotton
  • Take cool showers or baths
  • Cool your house by shading windows, shutting curtains and, if it’s safe to do so, opening windows at night to let in cool air
  • If you have an air- conditioner, make sure it is working before you need it
  • If you don’t have air- conditioning, spend time in a cool place like a library, shopping centre or cinema. Try to go early, so you’re not outside in the middle of the day

What are the symptoms of heat stroke?

  • Dizziness
  • Intense thirst
  • Confusion and poor coordination
  • Headache
  • Dry skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness

If a person develops these symptoms:

  • Move them to a cool place
  • Cool them down by sponging with cold water
  • If they’re conscious, encourage them to drink water
  • Call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance

Important telephone numbers

  • In an emergency- call 000
  • For advice on medications and their effect in hot weather- talk to the person’s GP
  • For general health advice- call Health Direct on 1800 022 222. This a free 24- hour telephone health advice line staffed by Registered Nurses to provide expert health advice (a NSW government health advice line, calls from landlines are free).
  • If you need an interpreter to assist you please call the National Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450.

For more information on how to stay healthy in the heat please visit the website http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/beattheheat

In 2014 we shall see how the new Commonwealth Department of Social Services (which has replaced the former Department of Health and Ageing) will be structured and how this will impact on programs for the aged community, particularly CALD communities. We will also see how the new  “Aged Care Gateway” develops and how the policy of “consumer- directed care” will evolve. It proves to be an interesting year and we try to keep you informed of any new developments. Palliative care and dementia are two other topical issues that we will be exploring in this column.

Beat the heat this summer in Italian