Winter Safety Tips for Those Impacted by Dementia
Winter time brings harsh weather conditions across most of the country. These conditions are often even more difficult on those with Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association has released some tips on how to stay safe this winter.
Those with Alzheimer’s can sometimes leave their unfamiliar surroundings and can wander around, putting them at risk for getting lost. And when the weather is extreme with cold and snow, it can raise a danger to those who get lost, especially in the areas that see crazy winters like the Midwest and Northeast.
There are things you can do to try and prevent your loved one from wandering off and getting lost in the cold. Installing motion alarms and placing door locks in higher positions are a good start. Also, try to camouflage the doors with curtains. It is also smart to register with a medical alert program. This can give first responders important information right away if someone goes missing like medical information and caregiver contact information. If someone does go missing, call 911 right away so a Silver Alert can be issued.
It can be difficult for those with Alzheimer’s to venture outside even with a companion. When going out in the cold, make sure your loved one is dressed warm and walk slow on sidewalks that could be icy. Keep the areas where they walk clear of snow and try to park in an indoor parking. The right shoes are very important, like wearing to prevent slipping and avoid wearing shoe laces. Of course, always keep bare skinned cover with warm coats, hats, scarves and mittens.
Since it gets dark early, this could cause more confusion. Take your evening walks earlier in the day and turn on the lights earlier. Try to also stick to a routine this time of year since it can be extra hectic.
You can find more winter safety tips at the Alzheimer’s Association website.