Alzheimer’s Association offers tips for families facing dementia during extreme heat

Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) – With increasing temperatures this week, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter has shared tips to help protect loved ones, especially the 110,000 Hoosiers living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Tips include:

  • Plan ahead. Family and friends should prepare accordingly and make plans to regularly check-in on a person living with dementia during extreme heat. Arrange alternative plans for cooler spaces, if air conditioning is unavailable, and dress in loose, light clothing.
  • Stay hydrated. Increased water intake is essential to maintaining good hydration and health during extreme heat. Know the signs of heat exhaustion to avoid heat stroke. Dehydration may be difficult to notice in a person living with dementia, as signs like increased fatigue, dry mouth and headache may be difficult to detect.
  • Pay attention at night. Keep people living with dementia cool by using fans and keeping the air conditioning on. At night, low temperatures can still exceed 75 degrees with little fluctuation in humidity levels, making for difficult and exacerbating sleeping conditions, heightened anxiety and increased agitation.
  • Reduce the risk of wandering. Wandering during extreme heat can increase the risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. Provide opportunities for the person to engage in structured, meaningful activities throughout the day. Reassure the person if he or she feels lost, abandoned or disoriented. And make a plan in the event wandering does occur. 

Additional tips and information on safety measures can be found at alz.org/safety

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