Higher risk for heat-related illness in seniors with Alzheimer's

Posted at 4:07 PM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-13 18:07:37-04

We can all agree it's hot in Boise this week, but these temps are getting especially dangerous for some of our most vulnerable populations, specifically our seniors and elderly. 

Director of wellness for Touchmark Retirement Communities said their staff members are watching those residents who are susceptible to dehydration even closer. 

As we age our skin gets thinner and our resilience against the heat lessens. The number one tip is, of course, to drink plenty of water. 

"Always as we age just remember I need 6-8 ounces of water a day," said the director. 

But it's not always so easy to remember the small details, like properly hydrating. Especially for those battling Alzheimer's and Dementia. 

"They might forget to be hydrating as much as they should, or forget to turn on AC or to close windows. They might have difficulty expressing their discomfort that they're being affected by the heat," said the interim executive director of Alzheimer's Association Lindsay Meloy. 

According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 23,000 Idahoans are affected by the illness. While there's no cure yet, the first new medication in longer than ten years only has one trial phase left before FDA approval. 

"It is able to slow that progression and buildup and elongate that time where they're in the early stage of the disease," said Meloy. 

While the association says Alzheimer's is set to up increase in our state by more than 34% in the next seven years, they're hopeful about the new drug. 

While we ait out these hot temps, be sure to check in on your loved ones with the illness, in person if you can.

"They might sound fine over the phone but maybe their AC is out, and they don't want to say anything so check in," said Meloy.