COVID-19 and dementia: experience from six European countries
SourceInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 36, 6, (2021), pp. 943-949
Article / Letter to editor
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International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
SubjectRadboudumc 1: Alzheimer`s disease DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
The effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been well documented across the world with an appreciation that older people and in particular those with dementia have been disproportionately and negatively affected by the pandemic. This is both in terms of their health outcomes (mortality and morbidity), care decisions made by health systems and the longer-term effects such as neurological damage. The International Dementia Alliance is a group of dementia specialists from six European countries and this paper is a summary of our experience of the effects of COVID-19 on our populations. Experience from England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland highlight the differential response from health and social care systems and the measures taken to maximise support for older people and those with dementia. The common themes include recognition of the atypical presentation of COVID-19 in older people (and those with dementia) need to pay particular attention to the care of people with dementia in care homes; the recognition of the toll that isolation can bring on older people and the complexity of the response by health and social services to minimise the negative impact of the pandemic. Potential new ways of working identified during the pandemic could serve as a positive legacy from the crisis.
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