Warm weather and summer sun require extra precautions – especially for seniors because their bodies have a decreased ability to perspire. Those with memory loss may be particularly at risk for heat stroke, sunburn, or even death without help from others to manage increased temperatures and sun properly. New and unfamiliar locations experienced during trips may also cause anxiety or confusion.
Whether preparing for an outing with your loved one or planning for summer here at Parc Provence, we’ve compiled a list of sun and summer safety tips to help make this season enjoyable and safe.
- Do things together – put on sunscreen and drink water or lemonade together. It makes the activity more enjoyable, and is beneficial for everyone’s health.
- Avoid outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest and the temperatures are highest.
- Dress your loved one in lightweight clothing or provide appropriate clothing. People with Alzheimer’s and dementia can have trouble keeping track of the season and may choose clothing that is too warm for the weather and overheat easily.
- Wear lightweight hats to protect the face and neck from sun exposure.
- Drink plenty of fluids – at least 8 glasses of water a day.
- Adapt activities to fit needs and physical abilities. For example, use a balloon if a ball is too heavy for a game. Choose shady locations to keep heat down.
- Large crowds and noisy locations can be overwhelming to people who have dementia and Alzheimer’s. Consider watching fireworks from a quiet location such as the inside of a car or from your home. Barbecue at your house rather than at a crowded park. If attending a family reunion, limit the number of people to be seen and allow plenty of rest – facial recognition can be extremely difficult.
- Don’t allow a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia to swim without supervision.
- Monitor sharp gardening tools and buy fertilizers that are not toxic if swallowed.
- Make certain your loved one carries identification. Some, such as Medic Alert + Safe Return, allow caregivers to report wandering incidents and activate responders.
Summer can be safe and enjoyable for everyone. Take a few additional precautions for friends and loved ones with memory loss. Doing so will allow you to enjoy the season and make every moment count.