Elderly extra vulnerable in the heat, Red Cross warns

Beach chairs, Eastern Scheldt, Ouwerkerk, Schouwen-duiveland, Zeeland
Beach chairs looking out on the Eastern Scheldt from along the Nieuwendijk in Ouwerkerk, Schouwen-duiveland, Zeeland. July 2018photo: joophoek / DepositPhotos

Pay extra attention to the elderly during the coming hot days, the Red Cross advises. According to the aid organization, this vulnerable group is at risk of dehydration and overheating in the high temperatures expected for this week, NOS reports.

Elderly people notice less quickly that they are thirsty, while they need to drink enough to stay hydrated like everyone else, according to the Red Cross. As some elderly people are dependent on help from others, it is good that other people also keep an eye on whether they are staying cool. "For example, many elderly people also sleep under a winter duvet in the summer", a spokesperson for the Red Cross said to NOS. "Or their chair is in a sunny spot in the house. These are things we should look out for."

A study by the Red Cross revealed that only 18 percent of Dutch regularly ask their elderly family members if they need help in the warm weather. Only 9 percent ask elderly neighbors if they need help. 

Other vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women and people who are sick, are also advised to take extra measures to stay cool in the coming period.

Public health institution RIVM will decide on Monday whether the National Heat Plan will be implemented.