Summer Safety Tips for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
Summer is a time for long, lazy days with friends and family at the beach or pool or enjoying an evening of backyard barbecues. But for families caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias this summer, it can also mean additional safety concerns. By thinking ahead and putting a few summer safety plans in action, families can enjoy all of the best of summer together.
Alzheimer’s Sun Safety
Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease may not think to protect themselves from the sun, so caregivers need to remind them. Here are a few ways to keep your loved one safe:
- Remind them to apply sunscreen when spending time outdoors. Make sure they reapply after a few hours.
- Encourage your loved one to stay in a cool, air conditioned location during the hottest portion of the day. While outside, sit in shaded areas and wear a hat and sunglasses to protect their eyes and skin.
- Make sure your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is staying hydrated. Keep beverages nearby and remind them to pour a glass.
Alzheimer’s and Summer Activities
Summer activities like parades and fireworks are often a family or community tradition, but the crowds and loud noises can be difficult for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Here are some ways to include your loved one in the festivities without overwhelming them:
- Watch fireworks and parades on television where the volume can be adjusted as needed.
- Stay with your loved one at crowded events like festivals and baseball games. Be prepared to leave if the crowds create too much anxiety for your loved one.
- When traveling to events or vacation spots, make sure your loved one has identification on them at all times.
- Make a plan for a quiet place where your loved one can rest as needed – even if it’s just some time spent in an air conditioned car.
Wandering is always a concern, but that concern is even greater during the extreme heat of summer when your loved one may not be dressed appropriately for the temperature or may stay out in the sun without water for too long.
If your loved one wanders or spends time alone, enroll them in the MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return® program. This 24-hour nationwide emergency response service will activate a community support network to help reunite the person who wandered with their caregiver.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a rewarding, but challenging task. Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care helps to support caregivers as their loved one’s care needs increase. Please call us at 1-888-564-3405 to learn more about hospice criteria for dementia patients.
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