How to Stay Safe during Covid-19 Surges: Tips for ALZ Patients and Caregivers
Life since the COVID-19 pandemic comes with new considerations for Illinois residents managing and caring for patients with pre-existing conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Some Alzheimer’s disease symptoms leave patients more vulnerable to serious infection. For instance, Alzheimer’s patients can more easily lose track of basic personal care needs, such as hand washing, social distancing and staying current with medical appointments and vaccinations. Left unchecked, this symptom alone increases a person’s risk of serious COVID-19 infection. Epidemiologists are also learning more about cognitive impairments linked to COVID-19 infection that can exacerbate pre-existing Alzheimer’s complications.
Ways to mitigate the risk of COVID-19
· Stay current with all CDC vaccination recommendations;
· Practice safe-social distancing;
· Wash your hands regularly;
· Use a face mask when local transmission rates are elevated;
Some Alzheimer’s patients cannot give consent for the COVID-19 vaccine. A healthcare provider can speak with a guardian who can provide consent on behalf of the patient.
The risk of COVID-19 infection extends to Alzheimer’s caregivers and family members in close proximity, too. Care teams should also follow public health recommendations for COVID-19 mitigation to protect themselves and the ALZ patient in their lives.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a tremendous impact on mental and behavioral health, leading to increased loneliness and isolation, especially among those with pre-existing conditions. Reach out to any ALZ patients in your life to let them know that you are thinking of them, even when you cannot be with them physically. Also, take the time to thank the caregivers in your life and community who help provide the necessary services for ALZ patients.
Practice safe COVID-19 practices to protect ALZ patients, caregivers and loved ones. For any further questions you might have regarding COVID-19 and Alzheimer’s, please see the links below.
COVID-19 Vaccine: Answers for Dementia Caregivers and People Living with Alzheimer's