Cold Temperatures And Coloradans Living With Alzheimer’s.
The cold, snow, and early darkness can be stressful enough for Coloradans as it is, but it can be even more difficult for a person living with Alzheimer's or dementia.
There are an estimated 76,000 people in Colorado living with Alzheimer's or dementia. So it is very important to be aware of cold weather and people who are having a hard time with decision making because of this disease. They may not think of things like putting gloves, hats, and scarves on. Bundling up for these very low digits we have been having for weather lately may not be on their mind at all.
Wandering is already a big issue with Alzheimer's and dementia, someone wandering without the proper protection against weather is an even bigger issue and can lead to tragedy.
I spoke with Jim Herlihy, Senior Marketing & Communications Director, with the Colorado chapter of Alz.org recently. He said, "When we are going outside with a loved one who may be living with dementia, be sure to bundle them up and keep them warm because they are not able in many cases to express their concerns, fears, and discomforts. So we have to ensure that we are protecting them as much as possible. Helping them walk because they might be unsteady in their walking to prevent slips and buddy up."
"We don't ask them to wait outside for us while we run back into the house to get something because that is an opportunity for them to be distracted and wander away," Herlihy added.
If you or someone you know is suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia reach out to Alz.org. Everything they do for people and their families is done at no charge. They are a great resource for help in trying to figure out if someone has dementia or Alzheimer's or helping with coping and living with it whether you yourself are or if you're a family member or caregiver. You can also call their bi-lingual line at 1-800-272-3900.
Learn more about Alz.org by listening to the full "Tuned In To NoCo" interview with Jim Herlihy below.