MEDIA RELEASE | 25 November 2019
‘Plan it Cool on Hot Days’ – reducing the risk of heat stress older community members
Older members of the community and their carers are being urged to take advantage of information and alerts on extreme heat warnings to ‘Plan it Cool’ to reduce the risk of heat stress.
CEO of the Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria, Tina Hogarth-Clarke said the recent extreme temperatures, combined with high fire danger and power blackouts, can create heat stress for older people, especially if they are living on their own.
“Older members of our community are more likely to have chronic medical conditions which can make them more vulnerable to heat stress.”
“Living alone means there is no one to monitor their condition on how they are coping with heat stress, especially if there are blackouts for extended periods leaving residents in an increased stressful situation with no air conditioning or refrigeration.
“With a growing ageing population, the planning and management of changing climate conditions and a predicted increased number of days with extreme temperatures, will become an issue we must all plan for in the future.”
Ms Hogarth-Clarke praised the work of the Emergency Services, Local Government and the many community groups who played a major role in assisting and caring for the community, including many with older residents, in challenging situations with fire emergencies occurring in country, regional and suburban areas.
Plan it Cool on Hot Days is based on taking some sensible precautions.
- Follow weather reports for the latest information on News Bulletins.
- Postpone any trips or regular activity that will expose you outdoor soaring temperatures.
- Stay indoors in the cool.
- Avoid undertaking any strenuous activity on the day.
- It is important to wear lightweight clothing.
- Drink cool water regularly throughout the day (keep jugs of chilled water in the fridge)
- Build up a supply of ice blocks in your fridge.
Keeping your home cool
- Close blinds and curtains.
- Turn on your air conditioner and set it to ‘cool’.
- Use an electric fan to keep the room cool.
- Have cool showers through the day.
- Make sure you have two torches with batteries in case of a blackout so you can move around your home safely, especially on stairways or outside areas with steps.
Keep your pet cool
- If you have a pet make sure they have cool water in a shady spot or inside.
Hot day contact list
- On days of excessive heat arrange to chat to family members, friends or neighbours.
Media enquiries: Ron Smith, COTA Victoria – Mobile: 0417 329 201