April 8, 2020
As the cornovirus advances, it is taking a particularly harsh toll on the many who are caring for for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia. According to a report by the Alzheimer's Association, more than 16 million Americans are providing unpaid care for those with Alzheimer's or other types of dementia. For them, the virus is "really a double whammy," said Lynn Feinberg, a senior strategic policy AARP Public Policy Institute. "You're worrying about your own health and that of your family member".
While the disease does not necesssrily place patients at high risk for contracting the virus, they and their caregivers face a range of special challenges. Dementia patients are typically very sensitive to changes in routine and often require a great deal of hands-on care, both factors that are hard to manage now. Family members who usually rely on day care programs or visiting caregivers maty be finding themselves with full-time responsibilities while others whose loved ones are in facilities are unable to visit them now.