Tips for Dementia Caregivers during COVID-19

Tips for Dementia Caregivers during COVID-19

Tips For Dementia Caregivers At Home

As the LIAD Center continues to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we also suggest our families to follow recommendations while staying home. Doing so might be challenging with a diagnosed loved one. Below are some tips to consider when caregiving at home:

  • Diagnosed individuals may need repetitive and/or written reminders about important hygienic practices.
  • Keep bathing in your morning or evening routine.
  • Placing signs near each sink in your home can be a helpful reminder for diagnosed individuals to properly wash their hands. Signs can include step-by-step instructions, including to wash with warm water, soap and for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Demonstrating healthy hygiene can be helpful (i.e. wash your hands together).
  • If hand-washing is difficult, alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be a quick alternative. Make your own using rubbing alcohol and aloe vera.
  • Inquire with your doctor or pharmacist about filling prescriptions for a great number of days to reduce trips and help practice social distancing.
  • Inquire with a LIAD Center social worker and/or program assistant for at-home activity suggestions. Continuing physical and cognitive stimulation as participants typically receive at the LIAD Center is important to maintain routine.
  • Be proactive, not reactive. Should the primary caregiver become sick, think ahead and make alternative plans for care management.

For people living with dementia, increased confusion is often the first symptom of any illness. If a person living with dementia shows rapidly increased confusion, contact your health care provider for advice.

Staying healthy

Know what signs to look out for and be aware of any flu- or pneumonia-like symptoms in yourself, your loved one and those around you. Report any symptoms to a medical professional immediately. Follow guidance and instruction from the CDC regarding COVID-19 to stay healthy and discourage spreading:

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick and have traveled recently. Distance between yourself and your community is the best way to prevent the virus from spreading.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick and work from home if possible.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and immediately wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Here are some additional resources caregivers can turn to for guidance and updates:

The Long Island Alzheimer’s & Dementia Center is committed to actively monitoring the situation, following recommendations from the CDC, and taking the necessary precautions to assure the upmost safety for our families, staff and community. As always, we are focusing on what we can do productively during this time. Our social workers are available to communicate with you every step of the way. Please call (516) 767-6856 with any questions or concerns.

About the Author Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center

At the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center, our mission is to improve the quality of life for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia, and their caregivers. We actively work to achieve this mission through research-based programming for all stages of Alzheimer’s, Caregiver Support Groups, in-home respite solutions, transportation options, and additional services.

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