Look out for your elderly neighbours in the heat

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW is reminding the community to check-in on elderly neighbours and friends during periods of extreme heat, especially people living with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW CEO The Hon. John Watkins AM said people living with dementia and their carers may need extra support during the current period of hot weather.

“A person living with dementia may need some assistance when it comes to coping with the summer heat,” Mr Watkins said.

“They may not be aware of how much water they need; they may be unaware of the 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.

“Keeping an eye on how much they drink and just letting them know you are there for them will be great support. Also suggesting that blinds or curtains are closed or offering assistance with shopping or transport can add to their comfort.”

It is estimated that 70 per cent* of the more than 115,000 people with dementia in NSW are living in the community. This includes people experiencing the many different stages of living with a dementia diagnosis.

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

“However it is at times of extreme weather when people living with dementia may need a little extra care. I wish to remind everyone that Alzheimer’s Australia NSW is here for support at any time, not just during a crisis, and I encourage anyone with any concerns or questions to call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.”

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW support services are available to all people living with dementia, their carers, families, friends and anyone seeking information and support. These services include dementia counselling, family education, the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500, the Living with Dementia program and access to extensive resources, information and advice.

*AIHW Dementia in Australia 2012