The ongoing impact on lives
The coronavirus pandemic and all the precautions that come with adapting to the ‘new normal’ are taking a toll on all of us, but especially those suffering from Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia itself does not increase a person’s risk for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, just like dementia does not increase risk for normal seasonal flu. However, dementia-related behaviours, increased age and common health conditions that often accompany dementia may well increase risk. Certainly, those in care and residential homes have had to take special measures and extra care in the last 5 months.
More than ever for family and caregivers, it is a worrying time. Concerns for the person suffering with dementia such as, how will they remember to wash their hands? how will they recognise masked faces? how will they make sense of a global pandemic and how will the change to all their daily routines – which often are vital to helping them cope – make them feel?
For their families, attorney’s or caregivers, how will they manage the money, pay bills and any additional costs? And of course, we all know that financial scams have been on the increase since the pandemic started.
However, by far the biggest concern of all is ongoing mental health due to isolation, for those with Dementia, but also their carer’s and family.
We know that many living with dementia can’t understand what’s going on, may not understand why their family members are not coming to visit and why they can’t touch people or be close to them.
Increased isolation and changes in routine can be detrimental and lead to setbacks. For many with dementia it has destroyed their daily routine, creating more confusion and lack of contact from friends and loved ones. Care workers have in some cases become the only people they see.
Video calls like Zoom and Skype have provided an alternative to face-to-face interaction for some, but they aren’t suitable for all – causing more confusion and loneliness.
Many carers and care homes have reported a marked deterioration in those with dementia due to the lack of stimulation and routine.
At Magenta, right at the start of lockdown we decided to reach out with regular touch point calls to all of our clients -but for those classed as vulnerable or caring for vulnerable people we made an extra effort.
Our client liaison manager Mandy spent a lot of time chatting about whatever the client wanted to talk about. For some of our clients and caregivers, she was the only person they had spoken to either that day or for a couple of days.
So, whilst things are starting to ease and loved ones have started to visit care homes and relatives who’ve been shielding, we’re mindful we want to make sure we continue to show understanding and support.
Magenta is always here – to talk about your financial planning and money concerns – or anything else you’d like to talk about – we want to help you through these difficult times in any way we can.
As a Dementia Friendly business, we know the scary times aren’t yet over for many, so we will continue to support our clients and their families. Please do let us know if you need any more support from us – or if they way we’ve historically met with you no longer suits and you are concerned about a loved one. Stay safe everyone.