Today we are going to talk about some tips for dementia caregivers during the pandemic by a trained nurse. The Alzheimer’s Association urges dementia caregivers to follow guidelines established by the CDC as they continue to provide care for dementia patients.
Caregivers play vital roles in the lives of the people they look after. That’s especially true for people caring for dementia patients, many of whom require round-the-clock help every day.
Role of caregiver trained nurses in covid-19
A caregiver’s trained nurse role is never easy, but the demands have been even greater during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Despite social distancing guidelines and recommendations to reduce interactions with those vulnerable to COVID-19, including the elderly, dementia caregivers must continue to help patients in need.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that older adults are at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19. That puts dementia caregivers in difficult positions, as data from the World Health Organization indicates that age is the strongest known risk factor for dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association urges dementia caregivers to follow guidelines established by the CDC as they continue to provide care for dementia patients.
Some Tips by a trained nurse
· Wear face masks or cloth coverings as it is strongly recommended by a trained nurse. Face masks or cloth coverings should be worn when tending to dementia patients. This includes when preparing meals for dementia patients or cleaning their homes. The CDC urges caregivers to wear personal protective equipment when providing personal or medical services to people with dementia, including when helping them bathe.
· Arrange for a substitute caregiver if you are ill or exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19. Caregivers should have a backup caregiver lined up in case they feel ill or if they are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 or if they have been exposed to anyone with the virus. The CDC notes that symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and muscle or body aches. A full list of COVID-19 symptoms can be found at www.cdc.gov
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· Wash your hands frequently. Frequent handwashing can help dementia caregivers keep their patients safe. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon arriving at your patient’s home, and continue to wash your hands frequently throughout the day. If visitors arrive, insist they follow the same handwashing routine. If you cough or sneeze during the day, wash your hands immediately and always wash hands before preparing meals.
· Look for virtual programs that encourage social engagement. Virtual gatherings have become the new normal as people try to maintain connections with family and friends while respecting social distancing guidelines. The Alzheimer’s Association urges dementia caregivers to consider programs that offer virtual activities that encourage dementia patients to engage socially. Such engagement can lift patients’ spirits and remaining socially active supports brain health.
Caring for dementia patients during the COVID-19 outbreak requires embracing various strategies to reduce patients’ risk of exposure to the potentially deadly virus.