773 E. Haverford Road • Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

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Summer Safety: Preventing Heat Stress in Your Loved One with Memory Loss

With spring in the air and the warm weather months fast approaching, many of us are looking forward to the carefree days of summer – sun-filled days, vacation trips and backyard picnics with family and friends.

“However, if you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia,” Sharon Major, Director of Marketing and Community Relations at Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr in Bryn Mawr, PA,says,summer is also a time that requires extra vigilance and awareness.”

“Hot summer days can bring special dangers, such as heat stroke, to loved ones and it is highly important to become knowledgeable about them so you can take proper steps to prevent them. Because individuals with dementia typically lose their sensory abilities, they may be unaware that they are overheated, dehydrated or getting seriously burned.

“Fortunately, there are several safety measures you can use to protect your loved one’s health and enable them to enjoy their summer days as well!”

How to Keep Your Loved One Safe in the Summer Heat

Experts on the subject, including the Alzheimer’s Association and professional sources such as the Mayo Clinic, provide helpful advice for keeping your loved one safe from harm.

  • Apply plenty of sunscreen on your loved one – This is particularly important when they are outside for long periods of time.
  • Be sure they drink a sufficient amount of liquids – Provide them with plenty of cool water or their favorite non-alcoholic beverage and make sure they actually drink it to prevent dehydration.
  • Limit the amount of sun exposure they receive during the day – Place outdoor furniture in shaded areas and keep your loved one indoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is strongest.
  • Dress your loved one in cool, comfortable clothing –Make sure they are dressed inlightweight clothes and feel your loved one’s skin periodically for temperature. A hat with a large brim is also a good choice.
  • Keep their living area cool – Use air conditioning or fans to help keep their living space comfortable.
  • Limit their exercise to the cooler times of the day –Exercise is important for your loved one, but it should be limited to cooler times of the day and cool areas of the home.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and high-sugar drinks – Avoid any beverages that could cause them to become dehydrated.
  • Restrict access to swimming pools –Swimming pools and hot tubs represent a significant risk. If you have one, be sure to protect it with a fence and a gate with a lock. Also, cover the pool or hot tub when it is not being used.
  • Assure adequate rest – Sufficient rest is important and your loved one may need a nap or quiet time to help them deal with the heat.
  • Utilize safety resources – Take advantage of useful safety resources such as Medic Alert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return® or Comfort Zone® to protect your loved one and reduce their risk of wandering. 

Adds Sharon, “By being aware of the risks and applying these helpful tips, you can help ensure your loved one’s well-being and enable them to enjoy some summer fun.”

Your Dependable Resource for Memory Care Information

More than a homelike haven for exceptional memory care services, Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr also serves as an important educational resource for at-home caregivers. We invite you to view our monthly articles and tips on memory care regularly. They are there to make your life as a caregiver easier and to improve the quality of care you offer to your loved one.

We Would Love to Hear from You!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section.

Engaging Days. Meaningful Moments.

Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment. Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level of independence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comforts of home. Our community touches hearts and changes lives.

Helping Families Be “Family” Again

Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family. 

If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock.

If and when the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again.

For more information, please call Sharon at (484) 380-5400 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.