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Dementia patients at risk of greater confusion in heat

The current heatwave in the UK is putting people with dementia at a high risk, the Alzheimer's Society warned.

It said that the heat wave could lead to severe health problems among vulnerable people with dementia unless they take special precautions to keep cool and well-hydrated.

Nurses should be aware that the problems can become “particularly exacerbated” if people are isolated or living on their own.

Megan Cruise, advice service manager at Alzheimer's Society said: “A heatwave can lead to a vicious cycle. People with dementia may forget to drink enough fluids and wear suitable clothing. Dehydration and high body temperatures can lead to greater confusion.

“As temperatures rise, we are urging relatives, carers and others to check in on people with dementia to make sure they are OK. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, eat regularly to replace salts, dress in cool, light clothes and stay out of the heat,” she said.

There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and 225,000 people develop dementia every year, which is roughly one person every three minutes, recent statistics suggest.