AGI – With the start ofestate the heat wave alert returns. And, as every year, the most difficult season begins for elderly and fragile citizens, the one in which the climatic conditions can represent a serious danger to health and life, often underestimated. And, too often, the bill is that of a war bulletin, a massacre that had to be prevented. Senior Italy FederAnziani, the federation of the third age, raises the alarm: “Let’s avoid the terrible death bulletin we are sadly accustomed to. The invitation is not to let your guard down and follow the fundamental rules of the ‘life-saving’ handbook designed to protect our grandparents “.
The importance of keeping up to date
It is essential to refer to the heat wave detection system that the Ministry of Health, also this year, has activated to keep citizens updated on high-risk days (here is the link to consult it https://www.salute.gov.it/portale/caldo/homeCaldo.jsp). The dangers connected directly to heat waves are then added to those of loneliness, a plague that unfortunately afflicts many elderly people and which in these summer months is aggravated with often irreparable consequences.
Do not leave the elders to fend for themselves
Among the lines of conduct suggested by Senior Italy FederAnziani there is, therefore, that of not abandoning the elderly to themselves and each doing their part to assist them. Finally, to make the situation even more difficult this year, like the previous one, the context connected to Covid-19. “If it is true that vaccinations for the elderly have now taken a positive turn, it should not be forgotten that to date 2.8 million over 60s are still unvaccinated”. Spacing, use of masks, as per official indications, and good rules that in this particular situation affect our daily life must therefore be added to the specific rules against heat waves this season.
A few simple rules
“This year and a half of pandemic has certainly put the problem of the frailty of the elderly under the lens of public attention”, declares Senior Italy President FederAnziani Roberto Messina, “but we would not want that, as soon as the perception of an imminent overcoming of the pandemic problem, let your guard down again. Our grandparents are precious always and in any case and their vulnerability is subjected to many dangers, often serious, such as that of the summer heat: we are struggling to kill a virus, which has caused so many victims among grandparents, but how many times superficiality, ignorance and, unfortunately, indifference have caused real massacres in the summer seasons? How many grandparents have died of loneliness? We want to say enough: it is time to definitively stem this horrible scourge. It is often enough to follow simple rules of behavior, with a sense of responsibility, to avoid death ”, he stresses.
Here is Senior Italia FederAnziani’s “lifesaving” handbook to cope with the hot emergency:
1) Do not go out during the hottest hours of the day, or from 12 to 17.
2) Drink at least one and a half liters of liquids a day, in order to replenish the daily losses of mineral salts. Avoid alcoholic, carbonated, too sugary and too cold drinks. Don’t overdo it with coffee or tea.
3) Eat light meals. Prefer pasta, fruit, vegetables, fruit ice creams. Avoid fatty and spicy foods.
4) Ventilate the environment where you live, even with the use of a fan, avoiding exposure to direct ventilation.
5) Keep the garment sheltered from the sun.
6) Wear light, loose-fitting clothing, light colored and natural fabrics because the synthetic fibers obstruct the passage of air.
7) Do not expose yourself to the sun for a long time. If, following excessive exposure, a headache develops, make compresses with fresh water to lower the body temperature.
8) Do not stay inside cars parked in the sun.
9) Do not interrupt medical therapies, nor replace the drugs that you usually take, on your own initiative. Always consult your doctor for any changes to the treatments you are following.
10) If possible, it is advisable go on vacation to hilly or spa resorts.
Proximity in compliance with restrictions
Senior Italia FederAnziani addresses an invitation to people close to the elderly: “Do not leave them alone!”, Messina reiterates, “Stay close to our seniors, obviously in compliance with the safety rules that are necessary in the context of Covid. It’s always a valid appeal, but even more so in this high-risk time of year. Call them on the phone and, when possible, through all the digital tools available. Even a video call can be, in some moments, an important sign of closeness. Do not get tired of asking if they need anything, because they are prevented from leaving the house for most of the day due to the risks of the heat. And you provide for their essential needs whenever it is not possible for them to do it on their own. Remind them to follow the therapies, because interrupting or modifying them, without the doctor’s advice, can have serious consequences. And if possible, take them on vacation with you. Help them have a peaceful summer and make sure they follow the basic rules of our ‘life-saving’ handbook. Do not abandon them, because our elders are the roots of our present and our future ”, concludes the president of FederAnziani.