Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Help and advice for families living with dementia during the Covid-19 outbreak


Many of our local families are affected by dementia and, inevitably, the coronavirus outbreak has been, and will continue to be, challenging for the families and people living with dementia as many people living with dementia struggle with changes to daily routines. 
It is also important to take time to prepare for different situations such as the person with dementia getting sick or if carers get sick.

For up to date guidance please go to The Lambeth Dementia Action Alliance for residents and carers which includes helplines and ways to support someone day-to-day at home. Please see below for further details.

Telephone helplines with staff who understand family carers & can talk through options
Alzheimer’s Society: 0300 222 11 22
Dementia UK Admiral Nurses: 0800 888 6678
Lambeth & Southwark Alzheimer’s Society: 020 7735 5850
Lambeth Independent Living & Carers Partnership: 020 7095 5720
Caring4carers: 07939 221 484
Lambeth council’s  Covid19 Vulnerable person helpline: 020 7926 2999

Chat forums on dementia
To connect online with other people affected by dementia, try Talking Point at https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk
Skype, Face Time and Zoom are some online face to face tools - and don’t forget the pleasure of getting a letter or postcard. Simply picking up the phone and making sure people are okay is extremely powerful at this time.

Information on dementia
The Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK have many information sheets on aspects of dementia with useful tips and suggestions e.g. on washing , eating , walking about, music: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/daily-living or

Dementia services
Many services for people living with dementia are temporarily closed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, but resources online include:
Lambeth’s AgeUK’s My Community (directory of services)

A few tips on getting through the day

  • Try to persuade & encourage the person with dementia and to avoid confrontation with them if possible.
  • Set up a regular time for telephoning.
  • Talk about early memories. Use music and old movies to help with reminiscence.
  • For people who forget recent news - a notice by the front door can remind people about not going out and other changes due to coronavirus.
  • Set up different areas/zones in your home e.g.: watch favourite films and musicals in the living room, listen to the radio in the kitchen, do jigsaw puzzles at the table.
  • Activity box with puzzles and crafts.
  • Assistive technology can help provide reminders about eating regularly, not going out, washing hands and so on. Available at  https://www.atdementia.org.uk/

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