6 tips for keeping someone with dementia warm this winter

Temperatures in Derry are close to freezing which is good news for some but can be a cause of anxiety for others.

By Daire Ní Chanáin
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 5:27 pm

People with dementia might not be able to communicate that they are cold, or even recognise that they are cold. This can sometimes cause their symptoms to worsen temporarily.

Bernadine McCrory Northern Ireland Country Director at Alzheimer’s Society offers six tips for keeping people with dementia warm:

1.Try to make sure that any rooms that are occupied during the day are kept warm. Draught-proofing and roof insulation will help.

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2.Encourage wearing layers of clothing, ideally with natural fibres, such as cotton and wool. Easy to remove clothing is best to avoid overheating.

3.Encourage regular movement as much as is possible for the person, such as standing, walking a few steps or rubbing hands together every so often, as this increases body temperature.

4.Drinking hot beverages can also help people stay warm. Bear in mind that some people with dementia will no longer be able to recognise high temperatures, so avoid giving boiling hot drinks.

5.If someone feels the cold a lot, they may need to wear a hat, gloves and warm socks if they go out, especially in cold weather - and indoors too, if necessary.

6.Equipment can be installed to warn of extreme temperatures in the home.

If you’re affected by dementia, call Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect support line on: 0333 150 3456 for information, advice and support or visit alzheimers.org.uk/coldweather where you’ll find more tips on supporting someone with dementia in cold weather.