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Plea to look out for elderly in hot weather

11:36 08 August 2014

Exmouth

Exmouth

Archant

A Budleigh care provider is urging people to look out for their elderly neighbours in hot weather.

Mark McGlade of Home Instead Exeter and East Devon highlighted the issue after he was forced to shimmy through an upstairs window to help a woman suffering from heat exhaustion.

Mark says he was driving through Budleigh when he came across the woman outside her home.

He said: “When I came across the elderly lady I found out that she was locked out and had been standing there for nearly four hours in the sweltering heat with no shade or water and was quite obviously distressed.

“Not only was she sweating but she was confused and completely exhausted – classic symptoms associated with dehydration and heat exhaustion.

“I took her to my air-conditioned car and gave her a bottle of water before trying to get back into her home.

“When I had no luck I used the lady’s ladder, and with her permission I resorted to climbing in an upstairs open window. Once we were both in the house I made sure the lady was comfy and gave her several glasses of water, a large mug of tea and a sandwich.

“I also cooled down the house by opening all the windows and closing the curtains and reported her condition to the local GP surgery, who organised for a community nurse to come and check on her.

“I called the lady the next day to make sure she was feeling better and she couldn’t thank me enough.”

“Although this is an unusual example of the effects of heat, we’re calling for people across local communities to be extra vigilant about the wellbeing of their elderly neighbours, especially at this time of year.”

Home Instead says that just as people are aware to check on people in cold weather, they should also bear in mind the risks of heat, with dementia patients most at risk as they can forget to do simple things like eat and drink.

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