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The impact of the first UK Covid-19 lockdown on carers and people living with low prevalence dementia: results from the Rare Dementia Support survey

Project statusComplete
Contact Dr Aida Suarez Gonzalez
Institution web pagehttps://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=ASUAR45
Host institution UCL
Team members Please see instutional link
Funding information (if funded) This research (The impact of multicomponent support groups for those living with rare dementias, (ES/S010467/1)) was funded jointly by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). ESRC is part of UK Research and Innovation. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the ESRC, UKRI, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. Rare Dementia Support is generously supported by the National Brain Appeal (https://www.nationalbrainappeal.org/
Project Summary

 

Introduction

The public health measures imposed to contain Covid-19 during the first UK lockdown resulted in significant changes in the provision of community support and care for people with dementia. People with low prevalence and young-onset dementias often experience non-memory, behavioural or neuropsychiatric symptoms that require specialised support.

Objective

We explored the impact of the first Covid-19 lockdown on people living with low prevalence and young-onset dementia and their carers in the UK.

Method

An online survey, including eleven questions about the impact of the lockdown on both the person with dementia and their family caregivers was conducted. Participants were people living with dementia and caregivers who are members of the UK national-reach organisation Rare Dementia Support.

 

Outputs / Expected Outputs

Results

184 carers and 24 people with dementia completed the survey.  People with dementia experienced worsening of cognitive symptoms (70%), ability to do things (62%) and well-being (57%) according to their carers. Carers also reported a reduction in the support received for caring (55%). 93% of carers of people living in care homes reported a reduction in their ability to provide care. 26% of carers reported changes in the medication of the person with dementia during the lockdown. 74% of people with dementia reported decreased ability to connect with people socially.

Conclusions

People with dementia experienced a worsening of dementia symptoms, removal of support and increased difficulty to connect with other people socially during the 1st wave of Covid-19. Carers encountered barriers to both receiving and providing support and a decline in their own mental health and well-being.

 

A pre-print of this paper is available at: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.18.20248455v1 

Project website https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.18.20248455v1

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The impact of the first UK Covid-19 lockdown on carers and people living with low prevalence dementia: results from the Rare Dementia Support survey