To kick off summer I wanted to share a few tips to beat the summer heat. When working with or caring for our senior population the extreme temperatures can be an issue and/or sometimes a health concern. So, how can you keep your loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s safe during the warm summer months? Here are some helpful tips!
During the hot summer days, always limit your loved one’s exposure to the heat and sun. If your loved one is going to be spending time outdoors in the sunshine, make sure they stick to shaded areas, wear a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and maybe use an umbrella for extra shade. It is also best to avoid going outdoors when the sun is the strongest, which is usually between 11am and 3pm.
As always, it is very important that your loved one drinks plenty of water and stays hydrated. Make sure they try to avoid drinking alcohol and sugary beverages in the heat. Our senior population has a harder time knowing when they are dehydrated and their bodies have more difficulty regulating their temperatures. Overheating may cause hyperthermia which is commonly known as a heat stroke.
To avoid a lot of confusion, put away your loved ones winter clothes and only have summer clothes available. This can help your loved one dress appropriately for the warm summer temperatures.
And last but not least special events and/or taking a vacation is pretty common during the summer months; so be extra cautious while traveling with your loved one. Routine is key for our loved ones with memory impairments. Having meals and medications at normal times will help out with added confusion. The biggest goal no matter the activity is to help your loved ones feel successful. It’s important for them to have fun, laugh, smile and enjoy the summer!