Paul Edwards, Director of Clinical Services for Dementia UK, comments:
“The coronavirus pandemic is placing significant pressures on care homes. Residents here are some of the most vulnerable people in society due to their long-term health conditions like dementia, which could be compounded by secondary conditions such as diabetes, making them more prone to infection. They are also at increased risk of isolation with families now unable to visit residents face to face. For the staff, the challenges are stark for them too, with issues including a lack in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and even a lack of mental health support as they support some of the most complex situations.
“At Dementia UK, we see these challenges as being symptomatic of the wider failure to marry social care to health care. This crisis has highlighted just how wide that rift is and the need for a balance to be properly redressed. Right now however, the impetus should be on ensuring that we are giving everyone in the care home sector the support they need to combat this unprecedented virus. A key part of that is ensuring that PPE is supplied to care homes in order to protect residents and care home staff.
“Any families or people working within care homes with people with dementia at this time can ring up our Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline on 0800 888 6678 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also the coronavirus hub online for more practical and emotional tips and advice.”
Coronavirus: advice for families looking after someone with dementia