Alzheimer’s Association Summer Safety Tips
The pleasures of summer include longer, warmer and sunnier days, celebrations with family and friends, and backyard BBQs. For the person caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, summer can also bring with it additional safety challenges. By taking a few minutes to review the following safety tips, families can enjoy a fulfilling and pleasant summertime together.
Sunshine and Warm Weather
- Limit your loved one’s exposure to the sun. Place lawn chairs in shaded areas. Stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the suns rays are the strongest. Encourage your loved one to wear a hat and sunglasses.
- Remind your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease to apply and reapply sunscreen when outside for long periods of time.
- 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 to him to drink. Provide non-alcoholic beer or lemonade for backyard BBQs.
- Appropriate Clothing –Put away winter clothes and replace them with light clothing appropriate for the season.
- Enroll in or if necessary, update information with the Medic Alert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return®.
- Consider watching fireworks from your home or in the quiet of the car and parades on television; picnic during less crowded hours and days.
- Never allow unsupervised access to open flames and the hot surfaces of BBQ grills or campfires.
- Attending a minor or major league ballgame may be something your loved one has always enjoyed. However, large crowds can be overwhelming for the person with Alzheimer’s disease. Identify a “buddy” so you don’t lose track of who was supposed to stay with your loved one, accompany your loved one to the restroom and the concession stand, and stay with them.
- Do not allow an individual with Alzheimer’s disease to swim unsupervised, and do not leave children in the pool under the supervision of the person with Alzheimer’s disease even for a short period of time.
- If your loved one still enjoys bicycling, consider accompanying him on the ride or ask a trusted companion to accompany him. Encourage your loved one to wear a helmet and to ride on trails designated for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Keep an eye on sharp gardening shears or tools and closely monitor their use. Use fertilizers that are not harmful if swallowed accidentally and ensure that the plants in the garden are not poisonous.
- Family reunions can be overwhelming to the person with Alzheimer’s disease and may rely greatly on her ability to recall names and faces. Consider limiting the amount of visitors and prepare both family members and the person with Alzheimer’s disease in advanced for the visit. Have a back up plan that will allow for a quiet place of rest if things become overwhelming or confusing.
- Many families plan vacations and trips during the summer time. Remember that new and unfamiliar places can be confusing for the person with Alzheimer’s disease. Consider simplifying travel plans or traveling to a familiar destination. Alert the Medic Alert + Safe Return registration line of your travel plans and provide them with contact information for your destination.
Important Contact Information
- Alzheimer’s Association 24-Hour Helpline – 1-800-272-3900
- Medic Alert + Safe Return Enrollment Line – 1-888-572-8566
- Medic Alert + Safe Return Incident/Emergency Line – 1-800-625-3780