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The Alzheimer's Association: Extreme Heat Precautions for Families Facing Dementia

Alzheimer's Association

Today is the first day of summer and as temperatures rise to near 100 degrees, it’s important for everyone to take extreme heat precautions.

Today is the first day of summer and as temperatures rise to near 100 degrees, it’s important for everyone to take extreme heat precautions.

Experts say that’s especially true for those living with dementia.

“Our concerns are that extreme heat, like what we’re expecting today, can have significant, impact for everyone but it can be stressful and confusing for people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.”

That’s Susan Evans, Program Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter. She says the Alzheimer’s Association is offering tips for families facing Alzheimer’s and other dementias to prepare for these extreme heat conditions. Evans says they encourage caregivers to plan ahead or create a plan to help prevent heat related issues or injuries.

“So what’s the plan going to be? Making sure they pick the right clothes, because they don’t always or making sure they’re in a place with air conditioning.”

Evans says that planning can help a person with the disease feel more relaxed and less overwhelmed, especially if you have to change up their routine due to the hot weather.

“For someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, changing the routine, forcing them to do something they don’t want to do, all can create confusion or anxiety, so while you might be trying to keep them safe a change in routine can create extra stress.”

Evans says other tips include keeping your loved ones hydrated, watching out for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Keeping them cool and making sure they don’t wander outside.

Evans says you can also keep a check on equipment like air conditioners and fans.

She says you can find more information for the Michigan branch at alz.org/GMC or Evans says you can also call their 24/7 helpline at 1-800-272-3900.