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Aging Ment Health ; 26(5): 905-910, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1205493


OBJECTIVES: Little is known about how community services and institutional care settings have adapted to providing support since the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim was to explore how these care services have adapted during the pandemic in the UK and are providing care to people living with dementia (PLWD) and carers. METHOD: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted in June and July 2020 with 16 purposefully sampled unpaid dementia carers. Participants were asked about their experiences of accessing care services since the lockdown, and whether they were beneficial, if accessed at all. RESULTS: Three themes were identified: (1) Impacts of no activities; (2) Difficulties accessing care during the pandemic; (3) Remote vs. face-to-face support. Loss of access to previously enjoyed activities and having had to shield for many PLWD is suggested to have led to severe physical and cognitive deteriorations, advancing the dementia. Where remote support was available, this was helpful to some, but did not replace the benefits of face-to-face support. Where PLWD were residing in a care home, carers had very limited remote access. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to explore the impact on carers both from a community and institutionalised care angle. Few care services have adapted to providing remote support. With the vaccine taking time to be accessible to everyone, it is vital for organisations to work closely with carers and PLWD to adapt services to provide much needed support.

COVID-19 , Dementia , Caregivers/psychology , Communicable Disease Control , Dementia/psychology , Humans , Pandemics