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Winter safety tips for caregivers

Tips on How You Can Keep a Loved One Safe in Subzero Temperatures

As the cold ensues in western Wisconsin, those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia should be on notice that snow, extreme temperatures and early darkness present challenges. Caregivers may be unsure how to best prepare for these conditions when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. However, the Alzheimer’s Association offers a few safety tips for navigating winter as a caregiver. A few tips from the Association include:

● Be prepared. Check weather conditions regularly and have emergency plans in place.

● Bundle up. Assist a loved one with Alzheimer’s whom may not be able to dress appropriately for winter weather conditions.

● Avoid slips and falls. Assume all surfaces are slick and take precautionary measures.

● Winter brings decreased sunlight. Make daylight last by turning on indoor lights earlier, opening curtains or installing motion detector lights.

● Prevent wandering. Enroll in the MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return® - a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals with Alzheimer's or other dementias who wander or have a medical emergency.

● Ask for help with snow/ice removal, grocery shopping or other errands.

Today, more than 110,000 people in Wisconsin are living with Alzheimer’s, and more than 194,000 friends and family serve as unpaid caregivers. “Caregiving is tough in any weather but the cold we are experiencing is brutal. We want not only to keep caregivers safe but those that they are caring for as well, says Outreach Specialist, Sharlene Bellefeuille. Make smart choices for you and your family and know that the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 helpline is always available for additional support you may need.”

About Alzheimer’s Association®

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's®. Visit www.alz.org or call 800.272.3900.

Submitted by the Alzheimer's Association Greater WI 

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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