Living with dementia and heatwaves

With much of the country in the grip of successive heatwaves, Australians are being asked to check on their elderly neighbours and friends living with dementia.

Some of those most at risk of heat stress may need extra help, according to Alzheimer’s Australia NSW Chief Executive Officer John Watkins.

“They may not be aware of how much water they need; they may be unaware of the weather forecast, take a regular walk and be caught out by the heat; they may not understand that they will be more comfortable in lighter clothes or may not know how to seek help if there are problems with their air-conditioning or fans,” he said.

Mr Watkins suggested keeping an eye on the fluid intake of a person with dementia, keeping their blinds or curtains closed, or offering assistance with shopping or transport.

“With good care and support, many people live well with dementia in the community and retain much of their independence.

“However, it is at times of extreme weather when people living with dementia may need a little extra care.”

Anyone with concerns or questions should call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

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