The older adults have been widely affected by COVID-19 pandemic in so many ways. This has been especially true as the risk for severe illness from the virus increases with age, underlying medical condition and cognitive impairment. Globally, more than 50 million people have dementia. This raises concern for vulnerable people in this group due to their inability to fully care and protect themselves from spread of the virus.
People living with dementia may have limited access to accurate information and updates about COVID-19. In addition to this, they may also have difficulties in remembering safeguard procedures, such as wearing masks, frequent hand washing, physical distancing and other public health measures imposed to the public. Ignoring the warnings and lacking sufficient self-quarantine measures could expose them to higher chance of contracting the virus.
As communities and care services are now resuming, it is important for families and caregivers to consider the risks and take additional safety precautions for people living with dementia.
Pay Attention to Symptoms
Gradual memory loss and cognitive impairment may be normal for people living with dementia. However, the caregiver must recognize the emergence of increased confusion as it is often the first symptom of any illness, especially viral or bacterial infection. If a person living with dementia shows rapidly increased confusion, the health care provider must be contacted for further assessment. Unless the person is having altered level of consciousness, 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. This prevents unnecessary exposure to possible infection when the condition can be managed at home.
Our caregivers at Better Living Home Care Services have the duty to report emerging symptoms to highly trained Registered Nurses whom can make professional recommendations for you or your loved ones. We will ensure clients and families understand every aspect of care so we help them make decisions that are in the best interest of the client.
Encourage Hygienic Practices
Family and caregivers may need to provide written reminders and extra support to remind people living with dementia the important hygienic practices from one day to the next.
At Better Living Home Care Services, we give high regard to our client safety by providing all our caregivers the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) to ensure safe delivery of our home care services.
Consider making arrangement with the pharmacist or doctor for filling prescriptions for a greater number of days to reduce trips to the pharmacy. Depending on the person’s level of cognitive impairment, a licensed personnel may need to be involved to administer medication should there not be a family available to supervise the task.
The family may consider arranging for alternate care to people living with dementia such as home care, adult day care, respite services to ensure their safety at all times. By providing care, you are minimizing the detrimental effects of social isolation and restrictions while ensuring that you and your loved ones are well looked after.
At Better Living Home Care Services, we truly understand the needs of people living with dementia. We provide companion care, personal care and memory care to help our clients overcome the effects of social isolation due to COVID-19 pandemic.