Those With Dementia at Higher Risk in Winter

People who suffer from dementia face a host of increased risks in winter months.

In Iowa, those dangers include everything from falls to getting lost – even in places that used to be familiar. 66-thousand Iowans suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and in the winter, The Alzheimer’s Association’s Lauren Livingston says low temperatures, ice, and darkness are just a few things that make conditions especially dangerous for people with dementia, but there are others…

Livingston says keeping track of people with dementia in the winter is especially critical for Iowa’s 100-thousand caregivers, 84-percent of whom say they want more help from family members. Livingston says it’s important to offer caregivers help with everything from grocery runs and shoveling snow to offering breaks from round-the-clock monitoring.

Memory problems are hallmark signs of people living with dementia, but Livingston says there is another equally debilitating symptom called “sun-downing,” which is made worse in Iowa’s shorter, darker days…

She adds that people with dementia are also more prone to falls, a risk made worse by Iowa’s snowy, icy weather.

(credit to Iowa News Service)