Rebecca Tilby, Registered Manager at Katherine Harriet Ltd looks at ongoing challenges for people with dementia during coronavirus.
Rebecca Tilby Commented ‘The past year has been a hard on for us all, but someone living with Dementia may not understand why we are wearing masks or as to why their family haven’t been to visit. This can all have a negative impact on the person living with Dementia and can contribute to increases anxiety which can be displayed in ways and behaviour that would not be normal for the client. Families may also be in a position where a lot has changed; their relative may have deteriorated after long periods of isolation and carers could have stored up huge amounts of emotional distress in the absence of support services. This is in addition to guilt at not seeing their loved ones with dementia due to a year of restrictions’.
What can we do to help?
It is important that even though restrictions are lessening that we follow government advice on helping to avoid the spread of coronavirus ensure that we are abiding by local guidelines, make sure that you are up to date with the latest restrictions by using such creditable websites such as https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Supporting from a distance?
If you are supporting someone with dementia who lives on their own, they may have difficulty understanding what has changed in terms of lockdown easing. It is important to keep in touch, take time to explain changes and make information available to them in a simple and accessible way. People with dementia may also lack awareness of, and be less able to, report coronavirus symptoms because of communication difficulties – you should be alert to any signs of symptoms of the virus in the person you are supporting.
With restrictions easing across the four nations and shielding coming to an end, this will be the first time that many families will be getting together this year, If you are meeting up with them after a long time, you may like to bring with you items which foster reminiscence, such as a photo of a trip you had spent with each other. You can also do an activity which the person with dementia is still able to do; this could include painting flowers in the garden.
Below is Testominy from a client’s family who we have been supporting through Covid.
“Katherine Harriet have helped tremendously, with the family working knowing that someone has been coming in to check each day and administer her medication has been a weight off our shoulders. The carers have ensured that she has kept well and safe during these tough times”.
Rebecca Tilby, Registered Manager