The health and wellbeing of people living with dementia in aged care and in hospitals is our primary concern, whether it is during a pandemic or in less challenging times. However, being restricted from visiting a family member due to the risk of infection from COVID-19 can be stressful and isolating for everyone.
‘Help for families of a person living with dementia during a pandemic’ provides families with helpful advice and strategies to enable them to feel supported while also supporting and connecting with their family member in care.
The resource and associated helpsheet focuses on tips about what families can do, and what the family members in care need them to do, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the family member with dementia in care, care staff and families.
Tips to stay connected include:
- Leaving a note or a card that the person can look at when you are not there
- Writing a letter or a card and get others involved too. Drawings by children will often bring a smile.
- Dropping off a care package wrapped as a present that the person will enjoy opening.
- Using electronic devices for video or phone calls.
- Reading a story or favourite poem in person or record yourself doing this on a device.
- Create memory boxes with special items or put together photo albums or reminiscence boards. Not only does it assist someone to remember times gone by but provides staff with ways to connect and create personalised conversation if you are unable to be there.
It is important to take care of ourselves as well as those that we support in care. The use of simple tools and resources can help us to keep connected with our family members.