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Alzheimer’s News: Dementia and COVID-19

Event Date: May 2020

 

Most likely, dementia does not increase risk for COVID-19, just like dementia does not increase risk for flu. However, dementia-related behaviors, increased age, and common health conditions that often accompany dementia may increase risk. In addition, diseases like COVID-19 and the flu may worsen cognitive impairment due to dementia.

• For people living with dementia, increased confusion is often the first symptom of any illness. If a person living with dementia shows rapidly increased confusion, contact your health care provider for advice.
• People living with dementia may need extra and/or written reminders and support to remember important hygienic practices from one day to the next.
• Consider placing signs in the bathroom and elsewhere to remind people with dementia to wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds. Demonstrate thorough hand-washing.
• Alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be a quick alternative to hand-washing if the person with dementia cannot get to a sink or wash his/her hands easily.
• Ask your pharmacist or doctor about filling prescriptions for a greater number of days to reduce trips to the pharmacy.
• Think ahead and make alternative plans for the person with dementia should adult day care, respite, etc. be modified or cancelled in response to COVID-19.
• Think ahead and make alternative plans for care management if the primary caregiver should become sick.

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Post Date: May 5, 2020

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