How To Keep a Person Living With Dementia Safe During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Gracewell  |  June 9, 2020

Jackie Pool, world-renowned dementia specialist and Director of Memory Care at Gracewell Healthcare outlines measures that can be put in place to help safeguard a person living with dementia during this pandemic:

  • Follow government guidance. You can find out what to do by listening to BBC news on the TV or radio, or in your newspaper, or online. 

  • Put signs up around the house as reminders, for example a sign in the kitchen as a reminder to wash hands, or a sign on the front door as a reminder to stay in.

  • Try to have food shopping delivered to the home. Many local shops will take a telephone order or, if you have access to the internet, you can order online.

  • Seek and accept help from trustworthy sources. Call the local council to be put in touch with local volunteer groups or look online. A health professional might be able to organise support from the NHS volunteer service.

  • Keep up usual safety measures such as wearing pendant alarms in case of falling.

  • Plan in advance in case the person living with dementia develops symptoms of coronavirus that could get worse. Get medical advice on whether the benefit of being admitted to hospital is worth the distress of being separated from family.  Consider if hospital is where the person would want to be. Equally, how would such a scenario impact on you if the person stays at home? Do you have access to proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to avoid exposure?

  • Consider developing advance care plans or directives to ensure that a patient’s wishes are considered when planning care in hospital. Does the person want to have a DNAR (do not attempt resuscitate) directive? What are the individual’s wishes around end of life care?

Visit the Alzheimer’s Society web site for lots of helpful advice and information:

Find your nearest Gracewell home here.