נגיף הקורונה ודמנציה באנגלית - לעובדים זרים
COVID-19 / Corona virus and Dementia/ Alzheimer's
The Corona virus is affecting everyone all over the world. How this affects people with dementia is still unclear and there are many questions.
The brain of the person with dementia is constantly under attack. Since the brain is the epicenter of the body's regulation, this includes the immunization system.
Therefore, warnings regarding at risk groups for chronically ill and immune-suppressed people are relevant to people with dementia.
The uncertainty of the spread of the virus, the many Ministry of Health instructions that sometimes change daily and the ongoing discussions have caused me to feel fear, helplessness and even panicky. These are common emotional reactions these days for everyone.
Like other emergency situations, that are relatively common in Israel, it is advised:
do not to keep the TV news on constantly in the background.
The nonstop reporting increases one's fear.
The person with dementia may not understand exactly what is being said, but they are still able to pick up on the emotion transmitted in the news (facial expression, tone of voice, urgency of speech), and mostly what the news is making you feel.
Keep in mind that when using a mask, only part of your face is clearly seen and the brain completes the other half of the image based on what it remember s.
But, in dementia this is exactly what is not working in the brain!
However, it is important to use masks to protect your person with dementia.
If they do not recognize you, take off the mask for a short moment showing your whole face and then replace it.
We cannot assume that the person with dementia is washing their hands properly, unless they are being monitored by someone else.
Try to encourage, assist, help and/or guide the person with dementia in washing their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, perhaps while humming or singing.
People with dementia will probably not remember to sneeze into their elbow rather then their hands, which is longstanding habit.
Also avoiding face touching (mouth, nose, eyes) will be difficult to do or persuading them to stop doing, therefore we must rely on the hand washing.
Staying at home may be a challenge for people with dementia used to going to day centers, and for all caregivers.
Try to find various activities that the person with dementia might do. They may be the same activities day after day, but they may seem new to them.
There are many ideas for activities online and at this link: http://bit.ly/2x37psy
In dementia the most contagious thing is your emotional energy:
If you are stressed and panicky – the person with dementia will be too!
If you are calm and collected – that is what the person with dementia will pick up on.
Please try to try to stay focused and calm, which will help you and your person with dementia through these continuing uncertain times.