Information and Advice
The world is facing incredibly challenging times due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and we recognise that people affected by dementia may feel anxious.
It’s important to remember there is support available and no one has to battle through this alone, we are here for you. You can call the 24hr Kent Dementia Helpline on 0800 500 3014.
As of 29th March 2021 the current restrictions remaining in place are:
- Only socialise indoors with people you live with or who are in your support bubble
- Up to 6 people or 2 households can meet outside
- Work from home if you can and only travel when necessary
- If you have symptoms get a test and stay at home
If you do go out you must keep your distance from people (2m apart) and ensure you wash your hands regularly to reduce the risk of transmission.
You must wear a face covering in many indoor settings, such as shops and places of worship, and on public transport, unless you are exempt. For more information about face coverings, you can read our blog here.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you should continue to follow the guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable. From 1 April, you will no longer be advised to shield. However, you should continue to take precautions to protect yourself.
If you are experiencing symptoms i.e. a new, persistent cough, high temperature or loss off/change to your sense of smell/taste you are advised to stay at home for ten days, if you live alone. If you have symptoms and live with someone else, or the person you live with has symptoms, you are all advised to stay at home for 10 days. We advise everyone to read the government guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection, which includes specific information for those living with a vulnerable person.
With lockdown measures now relaxing reducing loneliness is likely to be a little easier as you can now get out and about as long as you are adhering to social distancing measures and sticking to the rule of 6 or 2 households. Having to miss out on family visits or attending a day centre may have made a person feel very isolated, so if appropriate why not have a day out or a socially distanced lunch. If you are unable to see your loved ones it is important for you to keep in touch with them regularly either by phone, post or if possible, you could even set them up to video chat with you. Keeping that connection to the outside world is vital to a person’s wellbeing and you can worry less knowing they are at ease.
If you care for someone living with dementia you may find that with many day centre and support services being suspended, you are struggling to find that bit of respite these groups provide. It’s important you both stay busy and keep active so try to set up different activities to do throughout the day. Puzzles, books, crosswords are all a great source of stimulation especially for a person living with dementia. It will also be beneficial for you and the person you care for to take part in some gentle daily exercises to keep you mentally and physically well. If you can take a route where you can socially distance from other people and stay at least 2 metres apart, why not take a walk? Especially as we are having some remarkably lovely weather at the moment!
We have a plethora of exercise and activity videos which you can watch by clicking here.
We also have activity packs available, if you would like us to send one out to you please give us a call on 01474 533990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How to help a person living with dementia that you don’t live with
Although you are not allowed to visit your loved ones unless you are in their garden, 2m apart or in their support bubble you can still drop off items to them if necessary. Give them a call and find out what they are running low on. It’s important that they have an adequate supply of soap and hand sanitiser as well as enough food to keep them in good health. If the person is taking medication make sure that they have access to this, keep in contact with their GP or pharmacists to avoid them running out of medication.
It’s important to ask the person how you can help, they might simply want you to bring their favourite film round or a puzzle for them to do.
We have devised a list of conversation starters that you can use if you are calling your loved ones, just to keep the conversation flowing and put any anxieties at ease.