October 31st, 2020

Managing dementia during pandemic


By Submitted Article on April 3, 2020.

Submitted by the Alzheimer Society

We are living in worrying times, especially for those families trying to help their family member living with dementia. The associated changes in routine can lead to increased feelings of stress, anxiety and confusion for people with dementia. People living with dementia also depend on others to help with their daily needs, making social distancing a challenge for everyone involved.

To help navigate these challenges, here are some helpful tips:

Tips for people with dementia who live alone

– Have a plan for what you will do if you become unwell. >Make a list of important phone numbers that you can reference if you get sick.

– Ensure you have adequate supplies. >Make sure you have enough household supplies and medications on hand for two weeks

– Practise social distancing, but not social isolation. >Leverage technology to keep in touch with family and friends, whether it be by phone, email, video call or social media

– As much as possible, try to maintain your routine. >

Tips for caregivers and family members

– As a caregiver, it’s important to have a plan in the event that you become ill or need to self-quarantine.

– Expand your circle of care. >Ask for help from family members, friends or neighbours.

– Document instructions for care, with detailed information for the person coming in to provide care.

– Ensure the person has adequate supplies. >Make sure there are enough household supplies and medications on hand for two weeks.

– Utilize technology. Explore what technology might be used if you can’t be there in person.

– Maintain a routine. >Changes in routine can cause confusion and stress for people with dementia, so it’s important to try and maintain their regular routine as much as possible.

– Have a plan for visitors. >If the person receives in-home support services, such as home care, cleaning or meal delivery, have hand sanitizer available for everyone to use before and after the visit.

– Take care of yourself. >Your health is important, too. Do not ignore it.

These are challenging times, but the fact is, dementia doesn’t stop and neither do we. >The offices of the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories are closed to the public and all staff are working remotely to continue to provide support to individuals living with dementia and their care partners during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Though all in-person programming is cancelled, our staff are exploring ways to increase support services remotely.

We also would like to remind you that you can access our on-line resources and education programs on the >ASANT CafŽ >learning platform, https://www.asantcafe.ca/.

Remember that even in these difficult times, you never have to struggle alone as you care for someone living with dementia, even in self isolation. We encourage you to call us at 403-329-3766 if you have questions or need support. The Alzheimer Society is just a phone call away.

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