“For many of us, the warm, sunny days of summer conjure up thoughts of family vacations, backyard cookouts and lazy days enjoying the sunshine,” says Elaine Austin, Executive Director of Provident Village at Creekside in Smyrna, GA. “However, if you have a loved one requiring memory care as a result of Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia, it is also a time for caution and vigilance.
“Because of the effects of progressive memory loss on a person’s judgment and five basic senses, the hot days of summer can be dangerous and even deadly if proper precautions are not taken, according to our memory care specialists here at Provident Village at Creekside.
“For example, your loved one may be totally unaware that they are dehydrated, overheated or getting a serious sunburn. As a result, he or she has an increased risk of heat stress and sun stroke. Therefore, it is very important to understand the risks, provide regular monitoring and take appropriate precautions to keep your loved one safe.
“The good news is that experts in memory care offer several tips on precautionary measures that can help keep your loved one safe and enable them to enjoy the summer months, too.”
Summer Safety Tips for Your Loved One Receiving Memory Care
According to leading memory care authorities at the Mayo Clinic and the Alzheimer’s Association, there are several steps you can take to keep your loved ones safe from summer heat. For example:
- Limit the amount of sun exposure your loved one receives during the day – Place outdoor furniture in shaded areas and keep your loved one indoors between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun is strongest.
- Help them apply plenty of sunscreen – 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.
- 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 –Memory care experts emphasize that exercise is important for your loved one, but it should be limited to cool 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 hazard. 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 also 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® to protect your loved one and reduce their risk of wandering.
Elaine adds, “By following these tips from memory care authorities, you can keep your loved one safe from harm while also enabling them to participate in enjoyable summer activities. And remember, social engagement activities are also very beneficial for your loved one with memory loss. Be sure to include them in picnics, backyard get-togethers and walks in the sunshine. Just remember to take the necessary precautions to protect them from becoming overheated.”
Your Family Resource for Memory Care and Senior Living Information and Support
In addition to providing exceptional assisted living and memory care for loved ones, Provident Village at Creekside also serves as a valuable source of information, resources and support for area families. We invite you to read our regular articles and tips on important senior care topics as well as to join us for our free public education programs and events each month.
We also welcome you to call us with any questions you might have on memory care or assisted living topics.
Live Vibrantly! at Provident Village at Creekside
At Provident Village at Creekside, we believe vibrant days ensure bright tomorrows, so we’ve created a community where seniors, quite simply, Live Vibrantly! Whether it’s in our Assisted Living Community or Memory Care Neighborhood, each day we celebrate the individuality and strengths of each resident.
At Provident Village, to Live Vibrantly! means that days are filled with joy, vitality, growth and security for both our assisted living and memory care residents. It means residents are socially active and personally empowered, with access to the personalized care and support they need to live fully. It means residing in a community where intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual and physical care are seamlessly integrated into everyday life.
Our compassionate Care Partners dedicate each day to enriching the lives of our residents. They customize the level of attention and activities to each resident’s specific needs and abilities. Our living environments are warm and inviting, with comfortable furnishings, beautiful fixtures and natural elements that bring the outdoors inside.