Lockdown : The effects on the most vulnerable
Coronavirus (COVID-19) presents itself to be of the countries and perhaps worlds most significant challenges in many years. The Government advised that those who are clinically extremely vulnerable such as the elderly and people health conditions take extra precautions during this worrying time and during the peak of the pandemic in England. This is known as ‘shielding’. However, from the 1st August the government advised that you do not need to shield at the moment. This is because the rates of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community have fallen significantly.
As shielding is lifted, we reflect on the effect lockdown has had on the eldery and in particular those living with dementia. It has been reported that dementia affects more than 850,000 people in the UK, which is growing at an unprecedented rate. By 2051 it is predicted that over 2 million people will have been diagnosed with some type of dementia.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of related and progressive symptoms associated with the decline of the brain. There are over 200 types of dementia and people often get confused about the difference between Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia alongside four other most common types: vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia and mixed dementia.
In a recent survey conducted by the Alzheimer’s Society, a third of people (32%) with dementia reported feeling apathetic with a sense of ‘giving up’ with almost half (45%) of participants stating lockdown has had a negative impact on their mental and physical health. While one in seven (15%) say that they have lost friends since lockdown began and 46% of unpaid carers also reported that loved ones with the condition have experienced stress, anxiety or depression. Lastly, over three quarters (78%) feel more lonely or isolated than before the pandemic.
Spotting the signs of dementia
Regardless of the type of dementia and which part of the brain is affected, each individual will experience dementia in their own unique way. We understand spotting the signs of dementia, may be difficult or you may be worried about your loved one. Symptoms can include, memory problems, cognitive ability such as processing information and communication problems for instance difficulty finding the right words. With or without a diagnosis, individuals often need support and assistance to help maintain their independence and live life as full as possible. However, early recognition and acknowledgement of support can help families establish care as part of the daily routine, helping those with memory loss to remain independent.
Currently there is no cure for dementia but research is still on going to develop a treatment, you can find out more on the NHS website and from your GP. There are however other treatments, activities and support which are important considerations in helping people to live well with dementia. While there is no cure there is home care.
How can Home Instead Cannock help?
Home Instead Cannock is the area’s leading home care provider for the elderly and a specialist in dementia care for people at home. Our care at home services in Cannock were rated Outstanding by the CQC and we understand that each individual experiences dementia differently; that's why our care is tailored to fit around you or your loved one’s life.
We have developed a unique training programme for our CAREGivers which is accredited by City & Guilds and specialised for the home environment. Developed by leading experts in ageing and dementia from around the world, it helps our CAREGivers to provide the best quality care possible using different strategies to support the person living with dementia.
Have you noticed a change in someone close to you during lockdown and worried they might be developing dementia? Contact us today or book a free consultation to see how we could support you.