Coronavirus: Living With Dementia

Healthwatch Milton Keynes has given the following advice for people living with dementia and their family and friends during the coronavirus outbreak.

Dementia UK have said:

  • How do I explain the situation to a person with dementia? 
    Explain the current situation to the person with dementia using simple and short sentences that you can repeat on a frequent basis, rather than trying to explain things in detail. For example, you can tell them that there is a flu outbreak and people are being advised to stay home. Having this message written on notes throughout the house may also help, particularly on the front door in line of sight. However if the person with dementia insists on leaving the house, assess the level of distress this would cause if you were to try and persuade them otherwise.
  • What do we do for information if we’re not on the internet? This question tends to come from relatives who do not live with the person with dementia – such as grown up children. We advise them to set up a regular time each day to call or video call with their parents or relative, to provide reassurance and also pass on any changes to the situation and the advice issued by the government and Public Health England. Pass on to them the phone number for the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline: 0800 888 6678.

You can find more information from Dementia UK here.
Keeping active and purposeful when stating at home is vital. Alzheimer’s Society have a list of activity ideas for people with dementia. British Gymnastic Foundation have created a dementia friendly chair-based gymnastics programme.
Because you can’t get out, perhaps ‘travelling’ from your lounge could be helpful to keep boredom and frustration from setting in?  You can watch Tiger-Cam at Edinburgh Zoo, Barn Webcam at Folly Farm, Blacktip Reef, Jellies Invasion and Pacific Coral Reef live streams at the National Aquarium, a choice of 10 live webcams at Monterey Bay Aquarium, a range of animals on Explore live cams, or even conduct your own orchestra online.
We have heard that, for those who used to watch sports as part of their routine, the cancellation of live sports has presented a problem – it might be useful to look on YouTube for some old matches, games, events to replay.