Are People With Dementia More Susceptible To Covid-19?

Patients with dementia need special support and help during the Corona crisis.

Are people with dementia more susceptible to Covid-19?

The global corona pandemic has particularly dire effects in various countries and for certain risk groups. Also  suffering from dementia are particularly vulnerable to the SARS-CoV-2 and are at risk. 

Both the risk of infection and the restricted mobility must be taken into account in this case. In many cases, spending a long time at home is particularly difficult for a person with dementia. In addition, people over 65 years of age are mostly affected by dementia, which is  why the risk of contracting the new coronavirus is particularly high. 

At the beginning of this pandemic, people with dementia were not classified as particularly at risk. But now more and more health professionals, especially psychiatrists and neurologists, point out that people with dementia belong to the risk group and therefore require appropriate attention.

What is dementia

More than 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia. So we could also speak of a pandemic here. Most people with dementia have Alzheimer’s, but there are also many other types of dementia. However, since Alzheimer’s is the most common, this disease also attracts special attention. However, a wide variety of other clinical pictures with similar symptoms can also be observed.

Dementia disorders affect various cognitive capacities, with memory being particularly affected. People with dementia lose the ability to carry out complex tasks, confuse time and space and are no longer able to cope with everyday tasks on their own. The disease also affects their language skills.

There are several theories that try to explain the causes of Alzheimer’s, but these are not yet fully scientifically understood. One possible cause are, for example, vascular diseases that disrupt the blood flow in a part of the brain.

In addition, the progressive degeneration can also lead to the death of the nerve cells and trigger dementia. As a result, the brain gradually loses its cognitive abilities, with aging very often affecting the frontal and temporal lobes.

People with dementia need support
Dementia has various causes, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease.

Why are people with dementia more susceptible to Covid-19?

In a letter to The Lancet magazine , various authors expressed their concerns that people with dementia are more at risk of developing Covid-19 without receiving appropriate support.

The authors point out  that patients with dementia have limited access to information about the corona pandemic. Therefore, it is normal for them to engage in activities that pose a risk of infection.

This becomes even more complex if the patient lives alone or  is in mandatory quarantine. If those affected do not receive appropriate support in this situation, their state of health can also deteriorate, as they may not have the opportunity to take care of themselves.

But people with dementia can also be more susceptible to Covid-19 if they live in a specialized facility without being isolated. Family visits are restricted in these centers, which has a negative impact on their mood and can lead to depression.

people suffering from dementia with coronavirus
People over 65 are particularly at risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. People with dementia also belong to the risk group. 

How can you help patients with dementia?

The authors of the letter, which was published in  The Lancet  , not only point out this problem, they also recommend various measures that were already implemented in China at the beginning of the corona crisis. The good handling of this problem in China could serve as an example.

In China, various organizations that help people with dementia have jointly drawn up a guideline. In this way, the nursing staff and the families of the patients were informed about specific measures.

The same organizations  were also available free of charge for training nurses. At the same time, telephone hotlines were set up to dispel doubts about mental health, stress during quarantine and the use of psychotropic drugs.

People with dementia can be vulnerable, but we can help them

Social responsibility is particularly important during this pandemic. Health workers as well as the dementia patient’s family and all other people  must show commitment to help people in the risk group. 

People with dementia are more at risk of developing Covid-19, but we can create social networks to help them. We can thus prevent these people from having to endure further difficulties in addition to their suffering. 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button