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Keeping loved ones living with dementia safe in the cold

Posted at 11:55 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-12 23:55:38-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As many as 400,000 families across New York State need to have a conversation with their loved ones living with dementia on keeping safe in the dangerously cold temperatures.

Representatives with the Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter recommend making sure those loved ones can safely navigate to and from their homes and consider rescheduling any appointments if extreme weather is forecasted.

It is also recommended to dress loved ones in loose layers because as the disease progresses, it becomes harder for those with dementia to monitor their own body temperature.

Experts say another major concern to be aware of is wandering.

“Even if it’s not a behavior that’s coming up now, caregivers are still planning for this and putting those preventative measures in place,” says Jill Horner and Chelsea O’Hara.

The Alzheimer’s Association recommends keeping a list of medications, diagnoses, places they like to frequent and descriptions of loved ones.

Another tough conversation to have with a loved one is deciding when to take away the car keys. The Erie County Medical Center has a driver evaluation program that can help with that situation. You can find more information on that program in the video below:

Alzheimer's Association and ECMC