COVID-19 and dementia

The pandemic continues to influence our lives – however you are affected by dementia. Find out about vaccines as well as information on tests and treatment for coronavirus. This includes rehabilitation for long COVID.

As coronavirus continues to bring changes and challenges, we have practical tips for people living with dementia and those supporting them – either in the same household or from a distance.

We will update this information regularly, including details of support and services from Alzheimer's Society. This will help you get through this period of change, so do come back to see what’s available. 

What are you looking for today?

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus causes an illness (COVID-19) that mainly affects your lungs and airways.

Symptoms in most people will go unnoticed or be mild – a high temperature or new continuous cough, or loss of sense of smell or taste. Some people will also have difficulty with breathing (shortness of breath). 

In a few people, symptoms will go on for months after the coronavirus infection is gone. This is known as long COVID and needs help to manage.

A few people with COVID-19 will get severe symptoms and need medical attention. Older people and those with a long-term health condition (for example, lung disease, heart failure, diabetes) or a weakened immune system (for example, because of HIV or chemotherapy) are more likely to get severe symptoms. As for long COVID, survivors of severe COVID-19 often need support for months afterwards.

The higher-risk groups for severe coronavirus illness include almost everyone with dementia, and many older family carers. 

Worst hit: dementia during coronavirus

Our full report, 'Worst hit: dementia during coronavirus', published in September 2020, is available to read and download.

Download report (PDF)

Advice for everyone

National restrictions are now being eased. However, the UK government is advising people to remain cautious and act responsibly by continuing to follow these recommended hygiene measures:

  • Hands: hand washing is still important to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Face: face coverings are still expected and recommended for crowded areas, particularly public transport
  • Space: social distancing – limit the number, time and closeness of contacts with people who are not from your household 
  • Fresh air: open doors and windows to let fresh air into indoor spaces 

Face coverings are still a requirement of entry to some places, such as on public transport even though they are not legally required everywhere.

It is your choice whether you wish to continue to wear a face covering in places where it is not legally required. You can still wear a mask if you wish to, despite the lifting of legal restrictions.

The easing of national restrictions has been made possible by the national vaccination programme, by more widespread testing and by people following guidance during past lockdowns. This has meant fewer people are going into hospital with COVID-19 than previously.

Latest coronavirus guidance where you live

Visit the NHS website for the latest medical advice to protect yourself and others. Read up-to-date guidance from GOV.UK that applies to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Latest NHS advice Local GOV.UK guidance
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