Heat and heatwaves can affect our health and the health of people we care for in different ways.

It is important to:

People over 65 are at increased risk of heat-related illnesses

Factors that increase the risk of heat-related illness in older people include:

  • Physical changes – changes due to ageing can mean that on hot days, the amount of sweat produced and blood flow to the skin may not be enough to cool the body. There is also a higher risk of dehydration due to age-related decreases in thirst and the amount of water in the body. 
  • Chronic medical conditions – certain conditions make the body more vulnerable to heat-related illness. 
  • Medications – some medications can reduce the body’s ability to cool itself or increase the risk of becoming dehydrated including diuretics (water pills) that are prescribed for some heart and kidney problems.
  • Living alone - if the person becomes unwell, it may be difficult to find someone to take care of them.
  • Ability to self-care - some older people may have difficulty moving around or have memory problems. These factors may make it difficult for the person to take care of themselves in hot weather.​

Read more about heat and health problems associated with existing medical conditions.​

Current as at: Thursday 26 October 2023
Contact page owner: Environmental Health