The latest official figures from England and Wales depict how people with dementia are more likely to be affected by Coronavirus. Almost 10,000 extra deaths among the patients were reported in the cities in April.
The data obtained from Office for National Statistics revealed that besides the deaths directly connected to the virus, 83 percent more deaths from dementia were reported in England and 54 percent extra in Wales, adding to the usual figures in April. The data came as a warning, showing how a reduction in essential medical care and social contacts negatively impacted the patients.
Based on a survey involving 128 care homes, Alzheimer’s Society found out that isolation and lockdown made the patients with dementia suffer from acute depression. It also observed that the condition of the ones in the final stage of the disease has been declining at a faster rate than usual. Alzheimer’s Society, in such a situation, has asked the Government to establish a Dementia and Coronavirus Taskforce to safeguard the patients with dementia and ease the lockdown for them and allow social contacting to some extent.
“It’s horrendous that people with dementia have been dying in their thousands, worst hit by Coronavirus. We have already seen the devastating effect of Coronavirus on people with dementia who catch it, but our survey reveals that the threat of the virus extends far beyond that,” Alzheimer’s Society’s CEO Kate Lee said. “We have to stem the dreadful loss of life for those who were neglected at the start of this crisis – with a threadbare social care system already on its knees, ill-equipped to protect them.”
Identifying the risks associated with the ease of lockdown, which seems necessary for the patients of Alzheimer’s, the society is trying to find out ways to establish a significant balance between social contact and infection control. To achieve this, it is attempting to bring together the experts in infection control and those with dementia expertise while involving colleagues from care sector and other charitable organizations for the best results.
In addition, the Alzheimer’s Society has also called for urgent regular screening to be introduced for the staff members working in care homes to deal with the spread of infection effectively. This request came following the government’s announcement in May regarding the testing for the virus for staff and residents staying in the care homes in England would begin by early June, the status of which is still unknown.