Care group issues weather warning

The ICare Group has stepped in to help guide the elderly in Lancashire through the current hot spell as the heat takes its toll - and met men issue weather warnings.

The region is already under a level one warning - putting it on a state of vigilance as the heatwave shows no sign of cooling down.

Now the ICare Group, which provides meals and care across Lancashire including Preston, Chorley and Leyland, is issuing guidance leaflets to its elderly customers spelling out what they should do to ensure their own safety as well as offering cold options in their meals service.

Stephen Emmanuel, chairman of the ICare Group, said: "We are hand delivering the leaflets and advising all of our elderly customers of steps to take if they are in any doubt about the dangers of the heatwave.

"Our community assistants are very close to many of our people and talk to them every day so they are ideally placed to pass on information and advice.

The hot weather can be particularly difficult for those people on certain medication, people with a serious chronic condition, particularly breathing or heart problems, and those who already have a high temperature from an infection.

Tips from ICare for the elderly include staying out of the heat wherever possible, particularly between 11.00am and 3.00pm, walking in the shade, applying sunscreen and wearing a hat and light scarf when they do go out.

The leaflet also provides advice on how to cool down for the over 75s including taking plenty of cold drinks, avoiding caffeine and hot drinks, eating cold foods, sprinkling water over the skin or clothing and applying a damp cloth on the back of the neck.

The other part of the guidance is to keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and opening windows only at night when the temperature has dropped.

Turning off non-essential lights and electrical equipment which generate heat and using a cool room for sleeping are also recommended.

There are 17,500 people over the age of 65 in Lancashire, and a similar number of people living in Lancashire who suffer from dementia of varying ages.

At the present time there are more than 11,000 people over 75 living alone in Central Lancashire, a figure that is predicted to rise to more than 15,000 by 2020.

For details of the new Peace of Mind initiative please see www.icaregroup.co.uk or tel 0845 604 1125.