Denh Pham, Dementia Adviser, shares how Alzheimer’s Society’s support line is helping callers during the coronavirus outbreak.
Being there at the end of a phone line is something our dementia advisers have always done. However, coronavirus has made phone support even more vital for people affected by dementia.
Many callers have felt confused or conflicted over how to follow government guidance, or worried about someone continuing to get essential support.
I’ve been asked about whether a person might not be given lifesaving treatment for coronavirus when they also have dementia, concern about carers whose partners can be verbally aggressive and threatening, and struggles with not being able to say a ‘proper goodbye’ when a loved one is dying.
Responding to these isn’t easy, but I’m thankful for all our training and the fact that our team is always there for each other.
We really listen to callers to help them identify their options. We can email or post additional information or put them in touch with local support where appropriate.
Often, it’s more about working through difficult emotions to see where these have come from.
Coming to terms with how they’re feeling can mean it’s easier to identify next steps – and to have the confidence to take them.
There’s something really uplifting about the way communities have pulled together at this time. I hope that awareness of the importance of these connections remains when we come out the other side.
We need your help
We can’t keep our phone lines open or manage the increase in demand for our services without urgent financial support. Please donate today – with your help, we can show people living with dementia that they aren’t alone.