People with dementia have been hardest hit by the recent COVID 19 pandemic, from the number of people in care homes who have died from coronavirus to the people with dementia living at home lacking guidance and isolated from social contact and for many, that has affected essential health and care support. The evidence is stark – data shows a 52% surge in deaths among people with dementia since lockdown, beyond those caused by the virus.
Therefore, for the first time, the UK’s leading dementia organisations, John’s Campaign, Innovations in Dementia, Dementia UK, TIDE (Together in Dementia Everyday), YoungDementia UK, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK, have united to speak as one voice on behalf of the millions who have been adversely affected, calling on the Secretary of State and the PM to grant a designated family carer access to care homes in line with ‘Key Workers’ – care home staff. This must include safe, regular and repeated testing, so they can visit care homes safely, and provide the care and contact so desperately needed. Every one of these organisations urges for the hidden catastrophe to be averted, to avoid further tragedy. More must be done to help those with dementia and their carers.
The lockdown of care home to visitors means people have been unable to visit their loved ones. The charities are raising awareness that, for people with dementia, this is not only emotional contact for distressed people with dementia, who are confused as to why visitors aren’t coming and why staff are wearing equipment, but also essential care and the voice and memory that keeps people tethered to the world.
We have joined together to form ‘One Dementia Voice’ and have written a letter to the Secretary of State For Health and Social Care to demand action for people with dementia. You can read the letter here.
YoungDementia UK director Tessa Gutteridge said, 'People with young onset dementia already feel abandoned and disconnected in care homes where most residents are a generation older. Imagine how bereft they have felt recently to live each day without the comfort of a familiar family face. We are delighted that steps are now being taken to allow care homes to start to safely reopen to visitors.'
- 10 July 2020