Supporting a person with dementia through coronavirus from a distance 

If you are not staying in the same household as a person living with dementia, read our advice on how you can support them from a distance.

Many people will have family or friends with dementia and be worried.

Help is available but you should not generally visit a person with dementia or their carer indoors just to see them – the risks of passing on or catching coronavirus are too high. (The exception, when you can visit socially, is if you’re all in the same support bubble.) If you feel safe doing so, you can now visit them outside – in a park or private garden – so long as you maintain social distancing.

You can and should still stay in touch, help out and drop things off if they live nearby. There’s a lot you can do to help the person and anyone in their household.  

Tips for supporting someone with dementia at distance 

  • Make sure they know how much help is available. Check they have a plan and know who to contact. If you know trusted neighbours or friends, ask them to pop a note through the door to offer help. 
  • Look for community support groups in their area. Keep an eye on all the ways Alzheimer’s Society can help them.  
  • Consider printing off and posting online advice (or the hygiene poster) if that would help. You can order all our dementia publications to be delivered direct to their door.  
  • Help them set up ways to connect with you. You can do this by phone, post, text, email or using systems such as Skype. Use whichever method is most comfortable for you and the person. Apps and social media platforms that allow the person to use video calling such as Skype, WhatsApp and Zoom might be worth a try. Seeing someone’s face as well as hearing their voice can help them feel closer. You could arrange this at a regular time of day to connect, to help give the person structure and something to look forward to. 
  • Look to help them as much online – including shopping for the essentials –  as you can. If they have difficulty getting a delivery slot, you can complete the NHS Volunteers scheme form to ask for groceries or medicine to be delivered at home.
  • Ask whether having a ‘third party mandate’ – where you have temporary access to the person’s bank account – would help with banking and paying for deliveries online. Talk to the bank because the person will need to complete a form, and have capacity to do this. If you are an attorney then you then they may already have this legal power.  
  • Warn them about potential scams and mis-selling by phone and online. Sadly, some people are using the pandemic to target vulnerable people. 
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