If you are providing senior care to an individual who has dementia, you will need to take several precautions to ensure that they are able to remain safe throughout the summertime. Regardless of whether they are living independently at home or taking a quick trip away from the assisted living facility, those with dementia share a lot of common risks this time of year. To make sure that you are providing the best care possible for your elderly loved one, here are a few tips when you go out this summer.
Stay Safe While Out in the Sun
It only takes a couple of hours out in the sun for an elderly individual with dementia to begin suffering the effects. While outdoors, make sure that you have plenty of water and continue to encourage your loved one to hydrate themselves throughout the duration of the day. In addition, you do not want to skip the sunscreen, even if it is partly cloudy outside because the sun's rays can still make it through.
Pay Close Attention to Schedules
A lot of individuals who have dementia experience sundowning, which is a condition that causes them to get more restless and confused as the day wears on, leaving them feeling irritable and disoriented. To avoid the risk of sundowning, you will want to schedule activities earlier in the day. Ideally, you should go out in the early morning for outdoor activities and early afternoon for indoor activities.
Choose Activities Wisely
Though there are many fun outdoor activities that can be planned during the summertime, it is important that you ensure they are appropriate for your elderly loved one. For instance, parades and fireworks tend to be crowded and loud, which can lead to an individual with dementia feeling uncomfortable and overwhelmed. Events like these are best watched at home on television, allowing your loved one to feel comfortable and with the ability to adjust the volume when and if needed.
Make Sure to Carry Adequate ID
If your elderly loved one is prone to getting lost when outside or likes to wander, make sure that your loved one has the appropriate ID and contact information on their person. This will help make it easier to locate them, get them home, or get in touch with you should the event arise.
If you are providing dementia care for an elderly loved one and are interested in supplement professional care, reach out to a dementia care service in your area.