Like so many, I’ve been applauding the work of our NHS teams in hospitals and in the community as they meet the demands of dealing with Covid-19. I also include in my thoughts the teams in hospices and independent hospitals, all of whom are under increased pressure as boundaries are blurred and roles are adapted. It’s heartwarming to hear how, even in these hugely demanding times, Dementia Leads and their teams are responding with imaginative ways to continue supporting people living with dementia and those who care for them; I hope to be able to report on some of those initiatives as time goes on.
As always, I recommend that carers refer to the Dementia UK website for excellent advice and support: www.dementiauk.org or the specific guidance for this month: https://mailchi.mp/dementiauk.org/march-enews-2020?e=c83bb8ba78
In the meantime, please consider whether this is perhaps the time to chat with neighbours and relatives who may not yet have discussed any cognitive issues they may have been experiencing. Are those issues likely to place them in danger as they struggle to follow the safety guidance now in place? At the supermarket today, I was very aware that the few people not following the marked spacings and direction arrows (designed to avoid people getting too close to one another) were older people – and some of them were entirely oblivious to any form of social distancing, let alone following the route guidance. I understand that there are plenty of volunteers locally to shop for older people – indeed, I was doing so myself, alongside my own shopping – but those who haven’t been able to get to grips with the new information may not be aware of the benefits of accepting that help. If in doubt, do please try again to explain the reason you’re offering help. Maybe write a short, clear note to back that up? If someone does seem willing to accept help, perhaps you could chat though a shopping-list with them? On the appointed day, make contact before you go, reinforcing the message that they don’t need to go shopping, because you’re going for them. If all else fails, maybe you could arrange to shop at the same time as the neighbour or relative, socially distancing as you go, but on hand to guide them?
Whatever your position, I hope that you remain well during these very testing times.