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COVID-19 may affect people living with Alzheimer’s or other Dementia

Alzheimer's AssociationWith the constantly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that these days are filled with uncertainty and stress — our hearts are with each and every one of you. For those impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia, this time can feel overwhelming. In crisis, community can play a critical role. I want to assure you that the well-being of our Alzheimer’s Association community is paramount to us. Today, like every day, we remain dedicated to serving all those impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia.

We continue to be available 24 hours a day for those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia. We’re closely monitoring all developments surrounding COVID-19, and we’re here to provide you with support, information and resources.

A common concern is how COVID-19 may affect people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Most likely, dementia does not increase risk for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, just like dementia does not increase risk for flu. However, dementia-related behaviors, increased age and common health conditions that often accompany dementia may increase risk. For example, people with Alzheimer’s disease and all other dementia may forget to wash their hands or take other recommended precautions to prevent illness. In addition, diseases like COVID-19 and the flu may worsen cognitive impairment due to dementia.

We’ve developed tips for dementia caregivers at home and for families with individuals in assisted living. In addition, if you’re a caregiver, we have recommendations to help keep yourself healthy.

If you or a loved one needs information or support, please don’t hesitate to call our 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900) to speak with a master’s-level dementia expert, or to visit our website at alz.org for additional caregiving and support resources.

Thank you for all you do to keep us moving toward our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.

Submitted by: Donna McCullough, Chief Field and Development Officer, Alzheimer’s Association