In the majority of situations, dementia or Alzheimer’s doesn’t maximize the risk of COVID-19. It is in a similar way that dementia doesn’t affect the chances of getting the flu. With age, the symptoms related to dementia or Alzheimer’s tend to increase, and it is necessary for family members to opt-in for memory care services.
Alzheimer’s and dementia patients will forget to wash hands or might consume the wrong medicine. At times, COVID-19 can also aggravate cognitive impairments. It is the reason why communities and memory care services are getting reopened. Caregivers must assess the risks and implement the necessary precautions for patients who have dementia or Alzheimer’s. If you want, you can check out the memory care in Kansas to decide on the best care options.
Essential tips for memory care workers at home
The memory caregivers of patients need to follow a set of guidelines put forward by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), such as:
- Dementia patients have tremendous confusion, and that is the initial sign of the ailment.If a person with the disease shows increasing disorder, it is necessary to contact the health care provider for further guidelines and advice. If the person faces challenges with breathing or is having a high fever, it is safe to call the health care provider instead of rushing to the emergency room. The doctor might give a cure without taking the patient to the hospital.
- Dementia patients might require extra reminders to remember essential hygiene habits.
- You might want to place signs in the bathroom or elsewhere to remind them of the tasks that they need to do.
- You can replace frequent hand-washing by making use of an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- You can ask the doctor or a pharmacist about filing in the prescriptions for several days to minimize pharmacy store visits.
- You need to think and come up with alternative plans for the patient with dementia about adult day care and cancel or modify the pandemic’s response.
- You also need to plan for the care management if the primary memory caregiver is unwell.
For patient’s in residential care or long-term care settings
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has offered rules on preventing pandemic and infection control in local dementia care homes. This guidance is mostly for the safety of the residents. The prevention might vary depending on the local situations. You need to check with the facility concerning the processes for managing the pandemic risk. It is necessary to make sure that they keep your emergency contact data and any other family member’s data. Few other tips are:
- Refrain from visiting the family member when you have any signs of illness or COVID-19.
- Based on the situation in your locality, the facilities might or might not enable the visitors. The main objective is to secure the residents. However, it can get problematic if you are not able to see your parent or grandparent at the care unit,
- If the facility doesn’t allow any visitation, ask the facility how the patient can contact the family. Some of the options are emails, video calls, or telephone calls.
- If the patient cannot use video chats or calls, the facility should find out how the patient should be able to connect with his or her family.
The considerations as community-based care and long-term care are reopening
If you or anyone you know depend on the community-based and home-based services, you can experience a disruption because of the pandemic. As the communities start phased re-openings, these services begin to become available again. It is necessary to assess the risks that get linked with starting these care units.
The long-term care settings
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, visitors are apt for this community to deploy quick testing for every staff, residents, and visitors. It is also necessary to have access to the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for every team. Also, the settings’ communal nature and the old age patients with various chronic conditions are vulnerable to COVID-19.
Several long-term communities have closed the doors to their visitors because of the pandemic and have increased their residents’ risk. It is a tough time, especially for the caregivers and the families who cannot see their loved ones for a long time in-person. One can always incur massive risks with an in-person visit. However, until the long-term care communities decide to allow the visitors and family during the pandemic phase, it is necessary to implement all the security measures to no risk of community contamination.
Taking care of dementia or Alzheimer’s patient in memory care is challenging. However, by using proper safety protocols, one can prevent the virus from spreading and causing havoc.