It is 2020 and we are in the month of June. Coming all the way to this mid-year month amidst COVID-19 lockdown, our healthcare providers are to date reminding us that the best way to survive is prevention. The most promising way to evade this pandemic is slowing the spread of coronavirus infection by preventing transmission risks. Taking about the month of June, we are celebrating the Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month to show our purple support for people suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. This is also a great time to appreciate and recognize the caregivers of dementia patients for their support.
It is our duty to protect and pay special attention to the safety of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia disorders as it further increases the risk of getting COVID-19 infection. Cognitive impairment in their cases risk the self-protection further as a vulnerable person may not understand or realize the risk of the COVID-19 transmission. Not being aware of the symptoms is another hindrance for dementia patients as they might not recognize and relate the symptoms or might forget to mention such symptoms in front of their doctors and caregivers. Therefore it is all the more important for a caregiver to be aware and responsible for people with dementia who might be showing symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 signs.Once infected, patients with dementia-related cognitive limitations can also further contribute to the disease spread.
Tips for Protecting People with Dementia from COVID-19
A person with dementia should not be unnecessarily exposed to public transportation or unnecessary visitors. They should ensure proper hygiene and handwashing along with their caregivers. The caregivers will need to be more cautious and aware regarding the care for themselves and also for the patients, besides maintaining self-quarantine guidelines during the lockdown.
Also, written reminders in different rooms like kitchen and bathroom should be properly maintained to help in reminding people with dementia and cognitive impairment to wash/sanitize their hands with alcohol-based sanitizers to take care and management more effective. It is also very important to stockpile necessary medicines and groceries for an extra month or two to prepare oneself for overcoming shortages in supply. In the case of healthcare settings, the caregivers should focus on availing tele-medicine or teleconsultation services for dementia patients as it is risky to attend doctors in person during this pandemic period.
COVID Prevention Tips for Dementia patients:
- Do not bring dementia patients using public transportation.
- Do not allow dementia patients to attend any public gathering.
- Please limit unnecessary visitors or overly-concerned relatives.
- Avail alcohol-based hand sanitizers and written reminders to sanitize hands.
COVID Prevention Tip for Dementia caregivers:
- Follow proper hand-washing and sanitization protocols.
- Please be aware of the transmission risks and anti-COVID guidelines.
- Practice self-quarantine and stock up medicines & food supplies for patients.
- Avail telemedicine appointments for the patients.