How to support someone living with dementia in hot weather
Dehydration is a common challenge for older people, especially those with dementia. The warmer weather can cause discomfort, dehydration and distress. Visit the Alzheimer's Society advice page for tips on how to support someone living with dementia in hot weather to help them stay comfortable and well.
5 tips for preventing dehydration
Here are some simple but effective ways of helping to prevent dehydration during hot weather:
- Leave glasses or jugs of water within easy reach. This is especially important for people with limited mobility, who aren’t able to get up and make themselves a drink.
- Make drinking easier. Have a clear glass so the person can see what’s inside (this may not work so well with water) or a brightly coloured cup to draw attention. Make sure the glass is within the line of sight. Having a glass that is suitable (not too heavy or an odd shape) can help. Straws might also be a good idea.
- Make drinking a social occasion. Have a cup of tea or an ice lolly with the person and make sure they're drinking during mealtimes.
- Leave reminders. Make sure someone with dementia remembers to drink regularly by leaving notes out for them or putting up notices around the house. You could also set up a phone reminder or set an alarm clock.
- Provide high water content foods. Supplement water and other drinks with foods that are high in fluids. Some good options include jelly, ice cream, soup and fruit such as melon.
How to recognise the symptoms of dehydration
There are some things that may show a person is dehydrated. If you spot any of the following, encourage the person to drink water immediately and seek medical help if you need. If the condition worsens or doesn’t improve, go straight to the hospital.
- Increased confusion (compared to typical dementia symptoms)
- Dark and strong-smelling urine
- Dry mouth, lips and eyes
- Headaches or dizziness
- Feeling tired
- Not peeing very often (fewer than 4 times a day)