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Alzheimer’s Insights: Staying the Course

Scott Finley

As of Monday morning, April 27, Texas has recorded over 23 thousand confirmed COVID-19 cases.  Nearly ten thousand people have recovered, but over 600 have died.

While we remain in the grip of this virus, it’s a good idea to revisit some of the following pointers on helping people who live with Alzheimer’s or other dementia to safely weather the storm.

Persons living with dementia may need reminders regarding:

  • Hand-washing and moisturizing. Caregivers should consider implementing a supervised hand-washing schedule.
  • Covering nose and mouth during a sneeze or cough.
  • Refraining from placing things in the mouth.
  • Staying in a particular area.
  • Taking medications appropriately.
  • Adopting social distancing practices and refraining from sharing items.
  • Following any other procedures that would require memory and judgment.

You can get more information about the Association’s emergency preparedness guidelines for Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers in long-term or community-based care settings here:

https://alz.org/professionals/professional-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-tips-for-dementia-caregivers

The current COVID-19 pandemic is creating added anxiety for everyone. Do your best to remain calm, particularly in your interactions with family members living with dementia. Oftentimes, these individuals will take their cues from the people who surround them. Creating a calm environment will help individuals living with dementia feel safe and protected.

Meanwhile, the need for supporting family and professional caregivers is greater now than ever before. In response to these challenging times, the Alzheimer’s Association is offering on line virtual support groups led by experienced support group facilitators.

To register, call the 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900 or go online to alz.org/crf, which is our national community resource finder.   You can locate your local program in the Community Resource Finder or contact our 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900 for details.

The Association also hosts ALZConnected®, a free online community where people living with Alzheimer’s, caregivers, family and friends can ask questions, get advice and find support at alzconnected.org.

If you have a question about Alzheimer’s disease, you can always call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900 for more information.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s®. For more information, visit alz.org or call the 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.

Scott Finley is Media Relations Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association® in Texas.  He can be reached at scfinley@alz.org