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Charity shares tips to help people with dementia during cold snap in London

As temperatures plummet, people are being urged to check in on loved ones, friends and neighbours living with dementia

An outdoor tube station in snow
Photo by Will Kennard on Unsplash

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for very cold weather with ice and snow in London.  For the estimated 78,600 people living with dementia across London, Alzheimer’s Society says the cold spell coupled with the cost of living crisis, may bring added anxiety and challenges.

Jackie Swapp, Regional Manager at Alzheimer’s Society said: “The winter can be a particularly difficult time for someone living with dementia. Colder temperatures can sometimes exacerbate symptoms as people with dementia may not always be able to communicate the fact they are cold – or they may not even recognise it themselves.”

Alzheimer’s Society has provided some useful tips to help support somebody living with dementia in cold weather.”

1. Make sure the person is dressed appropriately. Layers are key to keeping warm, and the best materials for maintaining body heat are cotton, wool, or fleecy fibres.

2. Keep the room warm. As well as turning the heating/ a heater on, things like draught-proofing, thermal curtains and roof insulation can help maintain a consistent temperature.

3. Encourage regular movement. Keeping active can help to boost circulation and help keep someone with dementia warm. Simply getting the person to move their arms and legs or wiggling their toes can be helpful.

4. Make the most of natural daylight. Decreased sunlight can cause someone with dementia to feel increased anxiety, confusion, and even depression during the winter.

5. Stick to a routine. A big change in routine can cause someone with dementia to become confused or agitated.

6. Be careful in icy weather. Perception issues can make it difficult for someone with dementia to see icy patches on a pavement or understand that a surface may be extra slippery.

7. Eat and drink regularly. Keeping warm uses up a lot of energy, and a warm house can increase the risk of dehydration. It’s important to make sure someone with dementia is eating regular meals and drinking enough fluid during the winter.

For more information and advice, call Alzheimer’s Society’s support line on 0333 150 3456 or visit alzheimers.org.uk


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