man drinking water on the beach
Image by Olya Adamovich from Pixabay

During times of hot weather, the aged and vulnerable may suffer from heat stress. As such it is important for our Direct Support Workers to be able to identify signs of heat stress in their clients.

Signs of heat stress include:

  • tiredness and lethargy
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • feeling faint
  • muscle cramps
  • thirstiness
  • urinating infrequently
  • dark coloured urine
  • pale skin
  • excess sweating
  • no sweating
  • high temperature
  • rapid heart rate

If you think someone may be suffering from heat stress, place them in a cool and well ventilated spot, get them to drink plenty of water, remove excess clothing and apply a wet cloth or ice packs.

If conditions are severe call 000. If in doubt, call 000.

As always prevention is better than a cure. Here are some ways to keep cool;

  • limit or avoid alcohol
  • wear light clothing
  • stay indoors with a fan or air conditioning
  • put your feet in a bowl of cold water
  • take a cool shower or bath
  • close all curtains and blinds
  • Carry a water bottle everywhere
  • use a spray bottle or a wet cloth on your body

As a Direct Support Worker, you should also take measures to prevent yourself from succumbing to heat stress while you servicing your clients.