Everyone enjoys a hot summer’s day, but if you’re caring for a loved one who’s been diagnosed with dementia, it’s paramount that you understand how hot weather can affect individuals in order to understand life-saving signals. The following tips will show you how to help someone with dementia who is struggling to cope with the warmer weather to avoid situations that could endanger their life.
Dress Them in Light Clothing
It goes without saying that people with dementia should be encouraged out of the midday heat. However, if they choose to venture outside, you should make sure that they’re dressed in light and loose clothing to help them stay cool. What’s more, loose-fitting clothes are also easier for them to move around in (if their mobility is restricted) and to remove or change with little help if necessary.
Use Proper Ventilation
If you’re looking after an individual who’s been diagnosed with dementia, it’s vital that you keep their room well ventilated. You can do it by investing in an electric fan, just make sure that you avoid circulating hot and humid air within a closed room. Equally, if air-conditioning is available, make sure that it’s working properly. In addition to that, you can keep curtains and blinds shut to stop sunshine from heating up the room too quickly.
Remind Them to Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water, can help keep your loved one hydrated. So whether you use a reminder clock, put up sticky notes all around the house, or set alarms on your watch, you should encourage them to stay hydrated at all times. Just be sure to avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks as they are diuretics, meaning they can lead to excessive loss of water through secretion.
Encourage Cool Baths or Showers
You should advise the individual you’re caring for to take a lukewarm bath or shower if they’re able to, or offer them assistance if not. Otherwise you can simply place a washcloth and a bowl of cold water next to their seat so they can dab themselves to cool down. If needed, you can also place a wet cloth around the back of the neck to help regulate their body temperature.
Observe Any Signs or Symptoms of Overheating
Overheating is a big deal because it can lead to other sun-induced health complications. If someone with dementia becomes overheated, their body is unable to cool itself quickly enough. Therefore you should check on the dementia sufferer periodically to ensure that they’re not displaying any signs or symptoms related to heat stroke, which can include headache, fatigue, profound sweating, nausea, and dizziness.
If you need more advice on how to look after someone in your life who has dementia, you can get in touch with us now.