Look out for your neighbours during the heat wave

Friday 18 December 2015

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic calls on the community to check-in on neighbours and friends during periods of extreme heat, especially people living with dementia, those who are older or living with a disability.

Maree McCabe, CEO Alzheimer’s Australia Vic said people living with dementia and their carers may need extra support during the current heat wave.

“A person living with dementia may need some assistance when it comes to coping with the summer heat.

“They may not be aware of how much water they need; they may be unaware of the forecast, take a regular walk and be caught out by the heat; they may not understand that they will be more comfortable in lighter clothes or may not know how to seek help if there are problems with their air-conditioning or fans.

“Keeping an eye on how much they drink, offering an icy-pole for cool relief and just letting them know you are there for them will be great support.

“Also suggesting that blinds or curtains are closed or offering assistance with shopping or transport can add to their comfort,” Ms McCabe said.

It is estimated that 70 per cent* of the 81,200 people with dementia in Victoria are living in the community. This includes people experiencing the many different stages of living with a dementia diagnosis.

“With good care and support many people live well with dementia in the community and retain much of their independence.

“However it is at times of extreme weather when people living with dementia may need a little extra care.

“I wish to remind all Victorians that Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is here for support at any time, not just during a crisis, and I encourage anyone with any concerns or questions to call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500,” Ms McCabe said.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic support services are available to all people living with dementia, their carers, families, friends and anyone seeking information and support. These services include Dementia Counselling; Family Education; the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500, the Living With Dementia program and access to extensive resources, information and advice.

*AIHW Dementia in Australia 2012

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Notes to media

When writing or talking about dementia, please provide your audience with the number for our National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 - a telephone information and support service available across Australia.

What is appropriate language for talking about dementia and why do we need it?

The words used to talk about dementia can have a significant impact on how people with dementia are viewed and treated in our community. Please read our Dementia Language Guidelines that have been developed by people living with dementia and carers.

About Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

In Victoria almost 81,200 people are living with dementia. This figure is projected to increase to 246,000 by 2050.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is the charity representing people, of all ages, with all forms of dementia in Victoria. As the peak body, we provide specialised dementia information, education and support services.

Call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit www.fightdementia.org.au/vic

Media contacts:

Christine Bolt 03 9816 5772 / 0400 004 553 / christine.bolt@dementia.org.au

Stephanie Puls 03 9816 5745 / 0427 757 434 / stephanie.puls@dementia.org.au