Summer can be a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors and spend quality moments with loved ones. However, for individuals living with Memory Loss, the season brings unique challenges that require careful attention. From heightened risks due to temperature changes to disruptions in daily routines, the warmer months can pose significant threats to their well-being.

Proactively addressing these concerns is crucial to ensure the safety and health of your loved one during the summer. That’s where Memory & Company can help. We are an accredited care environment with locations in Markham and Oakville. Our specialized Memory Care programs and activities are designed for those living with Alzheimer’s and related dementia’s resulting in Memory Loss.

Summer Safety Concerns for People Living with Dementia

Below are some of the top safety concerns for those living with Memory Loss.

  • Heat and Sun Exposure: Summer heat can be particularly hazardous for individuals living with dementia. The condition can impair their ability to regulate their body temperature, along with sensory changes, making them more susceptible to heatstroke and sunburn.
  • Wandering: It is a common occurrence for those living with dementia to experience “wandering” and the risk can increase during the summer due to changes in routine and disorientation. Longer daylight hours and outdoor activities can make it easier for them to become confused and wander off.
  • Dehydration: Dementia can damage the hypothalamus, which is the portion of the brain that regulates thirst signals. Those living with Memory Loss are at a higher risk of quickly becoming dehydrated as they may not be able to communicate or recognize when they need water.
  • Disrupted Sleep: Summer is a season of long daylight hours and warm temperatures at night. Research has shown that the brain produces less melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, as dementia progresses. In addition, difficulty sleeping can exacerbate behavioural symptoms and impact a person’s overall health.

Summer Dementia Care Checklist

Here’s how you can help manage the specific needs of those living with Memory Loss this summer.

  • Staying Cool and Hydrated:

    One of the most important health and safety tips for dementia care is maintaining hydration, especially during heat waves. Offer light refreshments such as water or fruit juice in easy-to-use insulated drinking cups or bottles for convenience. Encourage activities in an air-conditioned room or visit local cooling centres where fun entertainment activities are offered.

  • Sun Protection Measures:

    When enjoying a sunny day, make sunscreen application a routine, especially before heading outdoors. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and don’t forget SPF lip balm for added protection. Limit outdoor activities to shady areas between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and wear light-coloured loose clothing, sunglasses, and a hat.

  • Medication Management:

    The higher temperatures during the summer can have an impact on how a person responds to prescribed medications. Consult a healthcare professional to understand any heat-related side effects of medications and ensure medications are stored in a cool, dry place. In addition, set up a reliable system to ensure timely medication administration, even when routines are disrupted. This could include alarms or pill organizers.

  • Preventing Wandering:

    Install locks and alarms on doors and windows to prevent unsupervised wandering and always accompany your loved one during outdoor activities to ensure their safety and prevent disorientation. A reputable Memory Care environment will have secure safety measures in place such as surveillance cameras, motion sensors, alarms, and locks on all entrances and exits.

  • Promoting Good Sleep:

    As sleep can be a challenge for many people living with dementia, promoting a good night’s sleep may require modifying their schedule and adaptations to the environment. It’s best that your loved one refrain from sugar and foods and beverages that contain caffeine in the late afternoon. Help them by creating a dark, cool, and quiet sleeping atmosphere, as well.

Engaging Summer Activities for People Living with Dementia

Due to the health and safety risks those living with Memory Loss face in the summertime, consider activities that offer relief from the heat, improve socialization, reduce anxiety, and keep your loved ones safe. Some fun summer activities that are perfect for those living with Memory Loss include:

  • Sensory Gardens and Nature Walks: Supervised visits to sensory gardens and nature walks can be enriching and calming experiences.
  • Hydrating Snacks and Picnics: Plan picnics in shaded areas with plenty of hydrating snacks like fruits and vegetables.
  • Music Therapy and Sing-Alongs: Engage in music therapy sessions or sing-alongs to stimulate memory and provide enjoyment.
  • Simple Water Play: Activities like water painting or using a small water table can keep them cool and engaged.

Contact Memory & Company for Expert Guidance and Support in Dementia Care

Memory & Company offers world-class VIP short-term respite care and long-term memory care for those living with a form of Memory Loss and their care partner(s). As the world’s first Respite Hotel, we understand the importance of enhancing your loved one’s quality of life while protecting their safety and health. Our trained Team Members provide nursing care, medication management, socialization opportunities, physical fitness, nutritious diets, and tailored therapies.

Contact us today at (905) 888-8808 or email to schedule a personalized tour of our Oakville or Markham location.