As we continue to learn more about Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are gathering that dementia does not increase the risk for COVID-19 just like dementia does not increase the 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. It may be hard for loved ones with dementia to also fully understand why they can’t visit with you so when talking with a loved one remember to remain calm, discuss positive things other than the virus, and reassure them that you will visit with them as soon as you can. 

Caregivers of individuals living with Alzheimer’s and all other dementia should always follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), but here are additional tips we recommend during this time to provide the best care:

  • For people living with dementia, increased confusion is often the first symptom of any illness. If a person living with dementia shows rapidly increased confusion, contact their health care provider for advice.
  • Unless the person is having difficulty breathing or a very high fever, it is recommended that you call your health care provider instead of going directly to an emergency room. Their doctor may be able to treat the person without a visit to the hospital.
  • People living with dementia may need extra and/or written reminders and support to remember important hygienic practices from one day to the next. 
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be a quick alternative to hand-washing if the person with dementia cannot get to a sink or wash his/her hands easily.
  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor about filling prescriptions for a greater number of days to reduce trips to the pharmacy.
  • Think ahead and make alternative plans for the person with dementia should adult daycare, respite, etc. be modified or canceled in response to COVID-19.

At Grace Pointe, we take pride in the safety, healthy and overall quality of life that our care provides. We are taking all of the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus including closing our doors to visitors. In the meantime, our residents are receiving Grace Pointe Care Mail from family, friends and loved ones. If you would like to send mail, photos or videos to a resident, please submit it over on our Care Mail page!

Blog Source: Alzheimer’s Association

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