As temperatures soar, Bedford Borough Council is asking its residents to check on vulnerable individuals and ensure their well-being during the current heatwave. With rising temperatures posing potential risks to health, the Council emphasises the importance of community support and personal care in dealing with the adverse effects of extreme heat.
Councillor Martin Towler, portfolio holder for Public Health, said, "During these periods of hot weather, it is crucial that we come together as a community and look out for one another, especially those who are vulnerable or elderly.
“A simple act of checking on a neighbour, family member, or friend can make a significant difference and ensure their safety and well-being."
The following can help people keep themselves and their loved ones cool and protected during high temperatures, both at home and when venturing outdoors:
- stay hydrated, drink plenty of water and avoid alcoholic or sugary beverages as they can contribute to dehydration
- seek shade, whenever possible, stay in shaded areas, especially during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 11 am and 3 pm
- dress appropriately, wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-coloured clothing that allows your body to breathe
- keep indoor spaces cool, close curtains or blinds during the day to prevent direct sunlight from entering your home and use fans or air conditioning if available
- check on vulnerable individuals, reach out to elderly neighbours, relatives, or friends, and ensure they have adequate access to water, proper ventilation, and a cool environment
- never leave people or pets in parked vehicles, even with windows slightly open, temperatures inside vehicles can quickly rise to dangerous levels
- avoid walking dogs when the ground is hot on their feet, try early morning or late evening walks.
- Watch out for signs of heat related illnesses like dizziness and feeling unwell
Cllr Towler added, “It's not only about looking after others, it's also vital that we take care of ourselves during these hot conditions. These guidelines can help all of us contribute to a safer and healthier community."
Further information on supporting vulnerable people during a heatwave can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/hot-weather-and-health-supporting-vulnerable-people.
Residents are encouraged to report any concerns for vulnerable individuals or seek further assistance by contacting the Bedford Borough Council. Details can be found on the website at https://www.bedford.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/adult-social-care/support-we-can-offer-you.
If in doubt, think 111 first, go online at https://111.nhs.uk/ for advice, or call NHS 111 for an assessment and instructions on where to get urgent medical help.