The heavy burden of the national lockdowns may have hit dementia patients and their families harder than most.
While a quarter of those who have died of Covid-19 also had dementia, Home Instead has seen a shocking impact on those still living with the disease. Three quarters of people whose relatives have dementia say they have noticed an increased deterioration in their condition since last March, including additional confusion and memory loss. The local community in North Hertfordshire has said their elderly relatives have suffered an escalation in anxiety.
Jo Hooper, Communications Manager from Home Instead Stevenage and North Herts is not surprised by the findings. She has seen first hand how lockdown has taken its toll whilst caring for a number of clients living with dementia. Jo Hooper believes the loss of our clients’ social life has significantly impacted their wellbeing. In addition, clients with dementia rely on their long term memory, therefore daily routine which has not changed for many years is vital, this gives them a feeling of stability and security. Keeping a dementia client engaged throughout lockdown has been incredibly difficult. Dementia clients have become more agitated and confused, sometimes unresponsive.
But the effects are not just psychological, being stuck inside has its own issues, this has affected the clients mobility, he walked around the supermarket, he walked to the pub, now he struggles to walk around the garden. Climbing the stairs at the end of the evening was like giving someone a task to climb Mount Everest. He would continue to walk daily, but he found it difficult to socially distance, not understanding the safety issues involved and the focus was to keep him safe, particularly with his struggling health issues and vulnerability to COVID-19.
Home Instead specialise in the care of clients living with dementia. They encourage the use of music, different types of playlists can offer support depending on a particular mood or can act as a behavioural distraction. Verbal and physical interaction are key to slowing the effects of dementia and game play and mental stimulation can be used an important aid and can provide moments of joy and happiness. If you are struggling to cope or would like some local advice, please contact Home Instead Stevenage North Herts. They can not only provide care solutions but can advise on Assessment pathways, online support, companionship calls, dementia friends organisation, and network support.
If you would like to learn more about how you can help someone with Dementia contact Home Instead and they can give you information with regards to becoming a Dementia Friend.
You can also view the critically acclaimed documentary ROBIN’s WISH which was released in the UK on 4th January 2021. ROBIN’S WISH tells the powerful true story of actor/comedian Robin Williams’ final days. For the first time, Robin’s fight against a deadly neurodegenerative disorder, known as Lewy body dementia,
is shown in stunning detail.