Coronavirus: Why dementia sufferers are dying at an alarming rate – BBC Newsnight

published on July 13, 2020

If you're surrounded by people wearing masks I think for somebody living with dementia that's a very scary one of the reasons we think that they're dying is because social isolation has a huge and disproportionately impact on people in dementia even in coronavirus Britain

Especially in coronavirus Britain there's something comforting about the seaside especially because right now we're a nation living of memories there's a group of people though who don't even have that or at least not

Often and not reliably those in care with dementia or an overlooked group within an overlooked group but overlooking them is the last thing we ought to do for in understanding their plight we can better understand the

Countries and it's increasingly bleak of all the deaths in care home settings from cope with nineteen forty two and a half percent had Alzheimer's or dementia there's been an overall increase in a number of dementia deaths in care homes

In England a massive eighty three percent for the month of April and perhaps that's because as polling seen exclusively by this program shows 79 percent of all care home managers feel that the lockdown is having a negative

Effect on the physical health of their dementia residents measures and a lockdown that those people cannot understand as one care home manager put it to me this is a very lethal slow-motion car crash a car crash about

Which almost nothing is being said st Cecilia's in Scarborough is a home for those with dementia but they can't do what the government says they should do to defeat the virus confinement of their residence in rooms it is all but

Impossible when dealing with dementia and the ones who would do wonder owned lead with my reassurance but do understand system degree would be constantly helping them back to their rooms but there might be a couple of

Residents what have no capacity and will not isolates and so over then we would try the business with PPE the guidance what's out is amazing guidance but it's not very clear forearm dementia thus is in

It's not tailored or focal now it is this lack of a specific strategy for dementia sufferers which charities say could be costing lives one of the reasons we think that they're dying is because social isolation has a huge and

Disproportional impact on people with dementia depression and dementia are very closely aligned so actually we know people don't necessarily understand why their families have stopped visits in them the needs of that group are very

Specific and easily forgotten and I absolutely agree actually if this was our children that were being affected this way we would be screaming from the rooftops of course there's some element of that being related to age but if we

Look people with dementia are being affected significantly more than equivalent people of that age in population generally that haven't got dementia so people with dementia are taking the brunt of this disease across

The UK for families it's a new darkness in a nightmare they were already living Trevor's wife Yvonne was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in her early 50s Trevor hasn't seen her in two and a half months her care home has lost 30% of its

Residents to Kobe the fundamentals of care I wasn't worried about so the fundamentals of care a personal care washing dressing toileting feeding medicating I was never worried about those it's the wraparound aspects of

That that really concerned me so for her and these are very critical for people with dementia the loss of the routine the loss of familiar faces the lack of stimulation and last but not least and perhaps arguably the most important no

Hugging she has no comprehension and I think that's why the sparkle went from her eyes you could see that she was in a in a lost world even though the people around her were familiar wearing masks

She couldn't see the faces groups like the Alzheimer Society want the government to start planning now to bring in experts and give staff routine testing week after week to help people who can't even notice when they have

Symptoms but longer-term this is still about money and the fact that as a society we do not pay for the medical condition that these people clearly have if you've got counter you got heart disease the

NHS pays for your care it's free at the point of need although you paid your taxes I think the same for dementia but government after government that's labour the coalition the Conservatives I've always put social care and dementia

On a back foot we pay lip service to it but we don't actually deliver anything at the frontline if that funding had existed already and therefore some of those people would probably have had more people to look after them more

Carers to look after them prevent them from going room to room whatever there'd be alive now wouldn't they yes I think there would be a lot more people alive at dementia if we funded it correctly and in the past because I just think

There's been excess tests with people dementia before the pandemic came along let alone now and I think that's something the politician needs to look at there is much to Sheamus all right now but little rivals the sometime

Needless deaths of those who might not know they're dying who can't know why who cannot help themselves who aren't even aware they might need help in the first place they're here in body sometime in mind

But in this time of crisis not enough it seats thoughts as long as I can make my wife laugh she will know who I am the day that I can't make her laugh is the day that I've lost her and at the moment I

Can still make her laugh how do you make a laugh just by talking about the stupid things I always talk about which I'm not going to share with you

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