IMPORTANT UPDATE: COVID-19

The current Covid-19 crisis has thrown up numerous challenges for all of us, but for some the challenges are far greater. Ramsdens Private Client team have many years of experiencing working with people who have dementia and those who care for them. As we begin to return to normality, or indeed the new normal, we wanted to cast a light on what people living with dementia continue to face every day.

Below are just some of the difficulties that those with dementia struggle with even as restrictions are lifted and should be kept in mind by anybody who might come across someone unfortunate enough to be trying to manage the current circumstance whilst suffering with dementia.

  • Dementia sufferers are already at higher risk from Covid-19 on account of their existing health condition. Given that the vast majority of those who suffer with dementia are elderly, it is quite likely that dementia will not be their only health concern.
  • Dementia sufferers often have very demanding care needs and it is common for them to require nursing care. This will expose them to greater risk of catching the illness, as they may have carers coming in and out of their home, but even more so if they are in residential care given the well documented increase in risk of infection.
  • It’s no secret that there has been a good deal of confusion caused by lockdown and the ever changing rules. People with dementia are prone to confusion and the this will impose additional stress to their day to day struggle.
  • Government guidance often depends on people being diligent in order to avoid catching or spreading the illness. People are told to do things like wash their hands regularly, keep surfaces sterile and observe social distancing. Among other things, the impact dementia has on memory makes it very difficult for people who suffer with the disease to adhere to the guidelines increasing the risk of infection.
  • Social distancing has made life very difficult for some carers, particularly those who may be at risk themselves. Notwithstanding any other health issues a carer may have, it is not uncommon for a person who is in their sixties or seventies and considered high risk, to still be providing care for an elderly relative.
  • Those who suffer with dementia are often lonely and this is a problem that has worsened during the pandemic. People are unable to see their loved ones due to social distancing and the strict rules around visitors during lockdown. It is a widely held view that reduced social contact with people can serve to exacerbate the symptoms of dementia.
  • All of the above contribute to increased anxiety for those who suffer with dementia due to the risk of catching the disease, confusion over the changes to lifestyle andconcerns around their care.

Our Private Client Team at Ramsdens are all dementia friends and we encourage everyone to be as considerate as possible when they come across those who are suffering with dementia, particularly during these uncertain times. Although we might be forgiven for focussing on our own problems due to the challenges many of us are currently facing, we ask anyone who can to spare a thought for people who find ordinary life to be a struggle, as the current crisis may have an exponential impact on them.

Advice on living with dementia during the coronavirus pandemic can be found online, including at www.alzheimers.org.uk.

If you require advice about any of the legal issues involved with living with dementia, such as Lasting Powers of Attorney or Deputyship orders, contact expert Private Client Team on 0800 988 3650, email willsandprobate@ramsdens.co.uk.