How to support someone with Dementia in the cold weather
The bad weather and colder temperatures can bring about specific challenges for people with Dementia, and can sometimes make their symptoms temporarily worse.
Some people with Dementia aren’t always able to communicate the fact that they are cold, or they may not be aware that they are cold.
You may find the following tips useful to ensure that you are supporting someone with Dementia in the cold weather.
Make sure they are dressed appropriately
It’s important to help make sure they’re wearing the right clothes. Layers are key to keeping warm, and the best materials for maintaining body heat are cotton, wool, or fleece fibres. If you’re going outside, make sure the person has a hat and scarf on. Gloves are also important for keeping hands warm. If it’s icy or snowy, make sure the person is wearing appropriate footwear, such as non-skid boots.
Keep the room warm
It’s a good idea to aim for between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius. It’s also worth keeping a blanket within easy reach of a person with Dementia, so they can grab it if they’re feeling cold.
Encourage regular movement
Keeping active can help boost circulation and keep someone warm. It’s a good idea to encourage the person to move around at least once an hour- simply moving their arms and legs and wiggling their toes can be helpful.
Stick to a routine
A big change in routine can cause someone with Dementia to become confused or agitated. If you do have to make changes to someone’s routine in winter try to do them slowly and gradually.
Eat and drink regularly
Keeping warm uses up a lot of energy, and a warm house can increase the risk of dehydration. It’s important to make sure someone with Dementia is eating regular meals and drinking enough fluid during the winter.
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