Australia’s summers can be hard on all of us, but particularly on people with disability. In November we are writing three blogs. This one on living with extreme heat as a person with disability or as a carer of someone with disability and one on bushfires and a third on tips on staying hydrated in the heat.

People at greatest risk of heat illness include older adults, infants and young people, people who have a chronic or acute illness, people who take certain medications, people who are socially isolated, pregnant women and people who work in hot environments.

Many people with disability have underlying illnesses, live alone or socially isolated and can of course fall into any of the other categories.

When we are exposed to high temperatures, we are at risk of life-threatening heat-related illness such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. High temperatures can also make existing chronic illness worse which can be very serious.

How can you prepare for hot days?

  • Look at the weather forecast at least daily
  • Prepare yourself, house, or apartment before the heat arrives
  • Know who to call if you need help
  • Follow your doctor’s advice if you have any have any medical conditions

Look out for each other

  • Stay in touch with older friends, neighbors, and relatives during a heatwave in case you or they need any help.

Ways to stay cool

  • Close windows and doors to keep the heat out. Curtains with light-colored lining can help to reflect heat.
  • Use air conditioning or fans if you have them.
  • Try to be indoors during the hottest part of the day.
  • If you have to be outdoors, stay out of the sun as much as possible
  • Wear loose and light-coloured clothing

Stay hydrated by drinking water

  • Avoid alcoholic, hot, or sugary drinks including tea and coffee (they can make dehydration worse)
  • If you go outside, carry a bottle of water with you

This information was adapted from this site.