Dads sunshine adventure.
So here we go again, temperatures are going up and up and we have another health heat warning. We have found that making sure Dad is not overheating is particular difficult. The Alzheimer society have a helpful hints page on keeping those with dementia cool and well hydrated, it all seems like common sense, but in practice it is harder than it looks. It is important to remember that he has vascular dementia. So this affects his vascular system and much of the concerns with hot weather and those with heart or blood conditions can be true for vascular dementia.
The first one is
1. Make sure the person is dressed appropriately
Great, easy you would think, but no. Getting Dad out of wearing a tea shirt, a shirt, a jumper is difficult. He does not know he is hot so he thinks he needs all these clothes on. If he goes outside he will put on the biggest coat he can find, and a woolly hat. As for getting his socks of, well you might be suggesting a major surgery! We found the best way is to hide jumpers and coats. You can not get shorts on him at all, no way.
2. Keep the house as cool as possible
Again, easy. Open doors and windows if it is cool outside and in the evening. Well you open them, Dad will go round closing them, you can open them again, and Dad will close them. This will last all day.
Have that fan on. What's that wind. Lets play at turning the fan off, then on, then off, then on. You get the idea. Any draft is bad. Remember Dad has no idea how hot it, or he, is.
Then there is the fire. He will want a fire, this is not a joke, he likes a fire. He will sit and watch it for ages.
3. Avoid the midday sun
Finally one that is easy. He does not like going outside!
4. Find ways to cool off
Sounds easy, but think of the above. He also doesn't like water. To drink or showers hitting his head, or cold flannels or ice packs. So not so easy.
Then there is the hydration aspect. He looks at most drinks with suspicion. Tea is about it now, and even that it is difficult to encourage him to finish a whole cup.
There is one good thing he will agree with it is
I want to thank Hannage Brook Medical centre. They posted on their facebook page advice for patients with various conditions. I put a comment on there asking about dementia, since there was no link for this. Hannage Brook quickly altered it so there was the link for dementia, but also privately messaged me to make sure I was supported in looking after my Dad. Thank-you Hannage Brook.