It’s no secret that our summers are getting hotter, with heatwaves getting more severe and more common with every year. These climbing temperatures can pose very serious and unique risks to the elderly and to those living with dementia. Heat and increased humidity can be very dangerous for adults with dementia, but home care services can help by encouraging their patients to engage in a few behaviours which will lessen the effect of heatwaves on their patients’ quality of life.

Staying hydrated

Hydration is already a major issue with dementia patients who may have issues swallowing, or who may forget to take more than a few mouthfuls of water before becoming distracted. In the summer months, this issue can have serious consequences if hydration is not properly managed. Carefully monitoring water intake reduces the risk of dehydration during heat waves without requiring hospital trips which can prove unsettling for those with dementia.

Monitoring medications and chronic illnesses

Some medications may interfere with a dementia patient’s ability to cool down in the event of extreme heat, leading to heat stress or heat stroke. Having someone in the home who knows what signs to look for, and who is up-to-date on the possible side effects of any medication can make a real difference. Home care services can also monitor symptoms of other chronic illnesses which might be made worse by extreme heat and humidity, such as asthma, COPD, hypertension, etc.

Altering their daily routine

Time spent walking outside or gardening is often crucial to patients who otherwise might be house-bound due to dementia and old age, but in the summer it is important to have someone around to ensure they are not walking in the hottest part of the day. An at-home carer can see to applying sunscreen, ensuring patients are wearing sun hats, and cutting time spent outdoors short during heatwaves.

Caring Hands provides dementia care at home for patients in Lancashire and Preston, letting your loved one stay in the comfort of their own home safely. Get in touch with us today to discuss our range of nursing care services.

Photo: two colorful elderly women by u.hopper licensed under Creative Commons 4.0