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  1. #1
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    Does Hot Weather Affect Dementia?

    Strange that you should say it was very unsettled in the assessment centre today, also that Jan mentions this where her huband is. It has been just like that in my husband's dementia wing this past week. Also the lounge is hot a the best of times, faces south and gets what sunshine there is, but it has been stiffling this week.
    We had a very bad evening with MIL on Saturday after she'd been sitting in her South facing conservatory for a while. The only time we've seen her like this is when she had a UTI in hospital.

    I saw the above on another thread and wondered if getting too hot really does make for much worse symptoms?
     

  2. #2
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    I have a feeling that anything which affects someone with dementia’s physical comfort can influence their mood especially as they can’t always communicate what the matter is. Care homes are excellent at providing heating but not always so great with fans & air conditioning. Also the carers have to be extra vigilant to ensure everyone is well hydrated as this could also have a part to play.
    Last edited by Pheath; 20-08-2012 at 01:39 PM.
     

  3. #3
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    Mum is very sensitive to any changes in weather. In fact, weather is one of the things she obsesses about. A real insecurity. Note: she isn't in a home! But three drops of rain and she tells friends we have had or expect floods. Nothing would make her go out even in a spot of light drizzle - she gets cross and panicked about being in wet weather. When she sees clouds she worries about bad weather to come. We are in a serious heatwave in France, with air temperatures here of 38 C - so very hot. The heat didn't bother her, in fact we wondered if she is as good at assessing temperature as she ought to be, however the IDEA of a heatwave had her in a frazzle. She keeps asking us when it is coming, if it will be very hot, if the heat will be dangerous etc. We have had a difficult time as she keeps wanting to have a shower, but doesn't remember when/if she has had one.

    All this sundowning, wandering etc...... I notice Mum walks like a drunk (I support her of course) when she walks from her house to ours at night in the dark. I wonder if dark clouds isn't similar, something is going wrong with the part of her brain that detects light and dark? So, what if sunshine, brightness and so on aren't all interpreted differently as us 'normal' folk.

    It is difficult to see through the eyes of a dementia patient. Perhaps their perceptions of light and dark, hot and cold are not how we experience them at all. Any thoughts, anyone?
     

  4. #4
    I had a bad visit yesterday as I posted last night. My husband has an infection at the moment which has caused him to have cellulitis in his legs and feet and he was back to where he was before entering the assessment centre 9 weeks ago. There were several others in there who, like my husband, were on one to one care and they have no infection. These were patients like my husband who were responding well and had settled down. It was very warm in the unit over the weekend and even doors and windows open made no difference. So heat may well affect them. Another thought was them picking up on the anxiety and behaviour of one patient and that upsetting others who have little concept of what is going on.Just hope it has all settled down by the time I go today because it sure as hell is freeking me out.

    Jay
     

  5. #5
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    Babies and small children get cranky in hot weather. They can't identify that they need fewer clothes, to get out of the sun, open a window, have a drink etc. and someone else has to be alert to do this for them.

    Their temperature regulation mechanisms are different, they get heat rashes, itchy skin from sweating, headaches from dehydration and disturbed sleep. Heat makes them drop off to sleep during the day and then wake up again cross and disorientated, ready to kick the first person who tries to touch them.

    Sound familiar?
     

  6. #6
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    Their temperature regulation mechanisms are different, they get heat rashes, itchy skin from sweating,headaches from dehydration and disturbed sleep. Heat makes them drop off to sleep during the day and then wake up again cross and disorientated, ready to kick the first person who tries to touch them.
    Sound familiar?
    Well, yes it does It gets to be well above 40 in MIL's conservatory and I can't bear to be out there even for a few minutes so I think that might be the problem. She was better today and yesterday as she stayed in her living room and it was generally cooler anyway.

    I wonder if there's any research out there - think I might go and have a look.
     

  7. #7
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    Many of the symptoms of a UTI (particularly increased confusion) are due to dehydration, and it sounds to me as if this is likely to be the same problem, if your MIL has been sitting in a very hot place. It's very easy to underestimate how much liquid is lost when sitting in a hot environment, especially when the person may not be able to tell you they're too hot/sweaty/thirsty.

    I'd say, don't let her sit in a very hot place, or provide lots of ventilation, and make sure she drinks lots (water, preferably, rather than sugary liquids or tea) on these very hot days. You should be able to tell if your MIL is dehydrated by how often she's going to the loo, or how often she's wet, if she's not continent. Have a look at her wee; if it's dark in colour, she's definitely dehydrated and you really need to persuade her to drink more, or she'll be back in hospital with another UTI before you know it....
     

  8. #8
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    I'd say, don't let her sit in a very hot place, or provide lots of ventilation
    Although barely mobile, she high-tails it out there as soon as she's on her own. Door and window are kept wide open but it's very sheltered and there isn't ever much of a breeze. I did get her fan downstairs but she made the carer put it away again "because it makes too much noise"

    She is drinking quite a lot at the moment and doesn't seem to be weeing much, so I do suspect dehydration is playing a part. Oh, joy.

    On a more positive note, her riser-recliner chair is being delivered tomorrow (at last) so that may distract her.
     

 

 

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