Coronavirus

Living with dementia at any time brings everyday challenges for the person and those around them. Coronavirus is making daily life much harder. You may feel anxious, scared or lonely. But you are not alone – help is available. 

  1. You are here: Coronavirus
  2. Dementia and coronavirus risk

During the coronavirus pandemic we have advice and practical tips for people living with dementia and those supporting them – either in the same household or from a distance.

What are you looking for today?

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

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Coronavirus is seriously disrupting our ability to fund our dementia information and support. If you’ve found this advice on coronavirus helpful then please — if you can — consider donating.

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What is coronavirus? 

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

Symptoms in most people will 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). 

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 worse symptoms. These are people who are offered the regular flu jab every year in the autumn.

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

NHS advice on coronavirus

Visit the NHS website for the lastest medical advice to protect yourself and others. 

Latest NHS advice

Advice for everyone 

We must do all we can to fight coronavirus. It’s spread easily between people and not everyone with coronavirus infection has obvious symptoms.

To stop us catching or spreading the virus, the law now says that everyone should stay at home as much as possible.

The rules about this are different in Wales, Northern Ireland and England so check the guidance about going out for the area where you live. For all regions you are allowed to leave home for: 

  • shopping – for things like food and medicine  
  • exercising outdoors
  • any medical need – including to provide care, to help a vulnerable person or to escape risk of harm
  • going to work – where you cannot work from home

Even when doing these, we must always keep two metres (three steps) away from anyone outside the household. Use public transport only if your journey is essential. A face cover is recommended on public transport and some shops, where it’s harder to keep two metres away from people. 

These rules apply to everyone. They should be followed particularly carefully by people with dementia and those living with them. This is because people with dementia and older people in general are at higher risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus.   

Last updated 29 May

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