People with Dementia have been hardest hit by Covid-19 – they need our support more than ever
Ken Oxley is Media Officer for the Alzheimer’s Society in the North East and CumbriaContact: me: Ken Oxley 0191 2983989 / 07483 926575
Alzheimer’s Society has recorded an important milestone – one that demonstrates our determination to reach out to those in need even though we cannot see them in person.
When the current lockdown forced us to suspend our face-to-face services, we vowed to stay in touch with those affected by dementia through welfare calls.
Our trained staff set about the task of calling people on a regular basis to ensure they felt supported and knew they were not alone.
This week, I’m proud to reveal the number of calls made surpassed 100,000 across the UK… and counting.
We know from our research that people living with dementia and their carers need our support more than ever right now.
The stark reality is that the coronavirus pandemic has hit them harder than any other group – evidence shows a quarter of those to have died from Covid-19 had dementia.
Even setting coronavirus to one side, there has been a worrying spike in ‘unexplained excess’ deaths from dementia.
For example, in April, dementia deaths in England were a staggering 83% higher than what would be expected, and 54% higher in Wales – accounting for 10,000 deaths in total.
We believe this is partly the result of increased cognitive impairment caused by isolation and the reduction in essential care as family carers cannot visit.
This, in turn, can lead to depression as people with dementia do not understand why loved ones are no longer visiting, causing them to lose skills and independence, such as the ability to speak, or even eat and drink.
We’re doing all we can to support people affect by dementia during this crisis. You can do your bit by supporting us.
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