The COVID-19 pandemic and closures have had disproportionate and dangerous effects throughout the Alzheimer’s community. The impacts are widespread and significant. Many people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias are feeling more anxious and lonely. Caregivers are seeing more agitation, suspicions and marked declines in their loved ones with the disease. Visitor bans in nursing homes and other facilities make assessing the health of a family member with dementia much harder. Closures, stay-at-home orders, and fear of COVID-19 infection mean little help for family caregivers from home health aides or daycare programs, and the 24/7 care needs are stressful and exhausting. What will happen to their loved one if the caregiver gets the Coronavirus? Where can they get a break? The physical and emotional impacts are taking a toll on caregivers – and on the care they provide their loved one.

Caregivers say their loved ones with dementia are deteriorating more quickly as a result of shutdowns and isolation. Loved ones are more confused and agitated, and their dementia symptoms are getting worse.

Most likely, Alzheimer's and other dementias do not increase risk for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, just like dementia does not increase risk for flu. However, dementia-related behaviors, increased age and common health conditions that often accompany dementia may increase risk.

For example, people with Alzheimer's disease and all other dementia may forget to wash their hands or take other recommended precautions to prevent illness. In addition, diseases like COVID-19 and the flu may worsen cognitive impairment due to dementia.

As communities and care services begin reopening, it is important for caregivers to consider the risks and take additional safety precautions for people living with dementia.

Vaccines are an important step in protecting the health and safety of people with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia, as well as their caregivers, and we strongly encourages their use. In addition for those already vaccinated Booster shots are now available. Sign up for your Booster on gov.bm

 

 

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