The Earth’s climate is warming and as global temperature rises so does the frequency, severity and duration of heatwaves, presenting a significant health risk to the over 65s. The health risks range from minor heat-related illnesses such as prickly heat (heat rash) to severe life-threatening conditions such as heatstroke. Currently there are around 2000 heat-related deaths in the UK and epidemiological evidence suggests the number of deaths will increase fivefold by 2080.
To reduce the negative impact of climate change on the elderly population, research-informed strategies are needed to keep the elderly safe during periods of hot weather. There is a need for a guide that enables the older population to assess the potential risk of developing a heat illness at various summer temperatures (15°C, 25°C and 35°C) when completing activities of daily living (household chores, gardening and light exercise).
This research project commenced in October 2016 and ended in March 2017.
The aims of this research project are to:
Findings, outcomes and potential impact for this project included:
Kirsty Waldock (University Studentship Recipient)
Dr Neil Maxwell
Associate Professor Peter Watt
Dr Mark Hayes
Members of the research team presented at Public Health England's Annual Heatwave Seminar
University researchers study how elderly can keep cool in a heatwave, The Argus. 29 August 2016
Eastbourne scientists are keeping it cool, Eastbourne Herald. 2 September 2016
Pensioners wanted for university's new 'chill out guide', All Together Now online. 20 September 2016
Over-65s chilling out, All Together Now. 2 October 2016
Interview with Kirsty Waldock, BBC Radio Sussex. 29 August 2016
Eastbourne Leisure Trust part-funded the project (£5,170)