Alzheimer’s Association summer safety tips
Ways your loved one with Alzheimer’s can
have a safe summer
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[July 26, 2019]
The pleasures of
summer include longer, warmer and sunnier days, celebrations with
family and friends, pool parties and backyard BBQs.
For the person caring for a loved one with
Alzheimer’s disease, summer can also bring with it additional safety
challenges. The Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter offers
summer safety tips for those living with Alzheimer’s disease, so
families can enjoy a fulfilling and pleasant summertime together.
Keeping a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Safe in the Summer
• Limit sun exposure. Place lawn chairs in shaded areas. Stay
indoors between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the
strongest. Encourage your loved one to wear a hat and sunglasses.
• Apply sunscreen regularly. An individual with Alzheimer’s
may not remember to put on sunscreen, so be sure to remind your
loved to apply and reapply sunscreen when outside for long periods
• Stay hydrated. During the summer it is especially important
to drink lots of fluids. Keep a cool glass of water within arm’s
reach as a reminder. Add a flavor to the water to make it more
interesting and tasty. Provide non-alcoholic beer or lemonade for
• Dress appropriately. Decision making may be increasingly
difficult so dressing for hot days can be hard. Put away winter
clothes, boots, gloves and hats, and replace them with just one or
two choices of shirts, pants or shorts/skirts, a hat with a large
brim and a light jacket or sweater.
• Avoid loud noises and crowds. Both loud noises and crowds
can be overwhelming for someone with dementia. Consider watching
fireworks from your home or in the quiet of the car and parades on
television; picnic on a weekday or early in the day on a weekend
when crowds are lighter.
• Be watchful around fire and water. It’s best to have any
home pools protected by a fence but keep a watchful eye on any
seniors who may wander to prevent an accident. Do not allow an
individual with Alzheimer’s disease to swim unsupervised. Also,
never allow unsupervised access to fire pits, and the hot surfaces
of BBQ grills or campfires.
• Plan Ahead. Consider simplifying travel plans or traveling
to a familiar destination. Most airlines offer companion programs
for those traveling with special needs. That way you can be assured
a loved one has arrived safely or made a connection without any
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Alzheimer’s Association’s Tips to Prevent
Carry out daily activities: Having a routine can provide
structure. Consider creating a daily plan.
Avoid busy places: Shopping malls and grocery stores can be
confusing causing disorientation
Night wandering: Restrict fluids two hours before bedtime and
ensure the person has gone to the bathroom just before bed.
Also, use night lights throughout the home or facility.
Locks: Place out of sight. Install slide bolts at the top or
bottom of doors.
Doors and doorknobs: Camouflage doors by painting them the same
colors as the walls. Cover them with removable curtains or
screens. Cover knobs with cloth in the color of the door or use
Monitoring devices: Try devices that signal when a door or
window is opened. Place a pressure-sensitive mat at the door or
bedside to alert of movement.
Secure trigger items: Some people will not go out without a
coat, hat, pocketbook, keys, wallet, etc. Making these items
unavailable can prevent wandering.
About the Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer’s Association® is the world’s leading voluntary health
organization in Alzheimer’s research, care and support. Our mission
is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of
research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected;
and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain
health. The Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter covers an
87-county area with offices in Chicago, Joliet, Rockford,
Springfield, Bloomington, Peoria, Quincy and Carbondale. Since 1980,
the Chapter has provided reliable information and care consultation;
created supportive services for families; increased funding for
dementia research; and influenced public policy changes. The
Illinois Chapter serves more than half a million Illinois residents
affected by Alzheimer's disease, including more than 220,000
Illinois residents living with the disease. Our vision is a world
without Alzheimer's®. For more information visit www.alz.org/illinois
or call our free 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.
[Kaylin Risvold, Senior Manager,