Coronavirus Information for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact America, many things are changing. One thing that does not change is AFA’s commitment to you. We will continue to do everything we can to help families affected by Alzheimer’s disease. To that end, we wanted to share the following information with you:
Steps for caregivers:
Watch a webinar from Dr. Allison Reiss of AFA’s Medical, Scientific and Memory Screening Advisory Board on coronavirus prevention tips for family caregivers.
Protecting at-risk individuals: Older adults and those with serious chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease are at higher risk for serious illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here are steps the CDC advises to protect individuals at higher risk.
Staying active during social isolation: Staying active and engaged can help improve mood, reduce stress and avoid caregiver burnout, and it’s even more important at a time when people are staying indoors for prolonged periods. There are many fun activities caregivers can do with their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease to help exercise their minds together, using things they already have at home. Click here to learn more.
Reducing Caregiver Stress: Reducing stress is always important for caregivers, and even more so now. Disruptions in daily routines, social isolation, and anxiety are all added stressors caused by the coronavirus, but there are steps caregivers can take to help reduce stress and take care of themselves so that they can continue to provide care to their loved ones. Click here to learn more.
Connecting with Someone in a Long Term Care Setting During the Coronavirus Outbreak: Many nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care settings have closed their doors to outsiders for safety reasons, and while families can’t visit their loved ones in person, there are other ways to remain connected with them from anywhere. Click here to learn more.
Safety Tips for Essential Workers Who Have Loved Ones at Home with Dementia-Related Illnesses: Essential workers, from healthcare professionals to first responders to grocery clerks, don’t have the option of working from home and are selflessly serving our communities. If a frontline worker has another essential job of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to take precautions when they get home from work to protect their loved one from exposure to the coronavirus. Click here to learn more.
How to Prepare for Hospitalization: Moving someone with Alzheimer’s disease to a hospital can often be difficult and may be especially challenging during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and social isolation. There are steps caregivers to take to be prepared in case their loved one with Alzheimer’s needs to be hospitalized. Click here to learn more.
Reducing Family Tensions and Strengthening Relationships: As our ongoing need to isolate continues, it may be harder for caregivers to be able to take a break, which can create tension, anxiety, stress and resentment. Taking steps to deal with all of these feelings head-on and strengthen the bonds between family members is important for everyone. Click here to learn more.
Pulling Back from the Breaking Point: One of the most significant challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease has been the major disruption to in-person caregiving support services. With the increased pressure of caring for a loved one without having access to these services driving caregivers closer to the breaking point, here are steps they can take to find additional support.
Navigating Health and Safety During the Reopening Process: As states around the country open up after months of prolonged isolation due to COVID-19, there are steps families affected by Alzheimer’s disease can take to protect their loved ones during the reopening process. Click here to read more.
AFA’s programs and services:
AFA Helpline: The AFA Helpline is open seven days a week (9 am to 9 pm ET on weekdays, 9 am to 5 pm ET on weekends) to provide guidance and information about coronavirus prevention tips, handling social isolation, caring for a loved one and more. You can connect with a licensed social worker by clicking on the blue and white chat icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the page, by sending a text message to 646-586-5283 or calling 866-232-8484 (the web chat and text chat accepts conversations in more than 90 languages).
Telephone-based support groups: AFA created new, telephone-based support groups to help families affected by Alzheimer’s disease navigate the added challenges created by COVID-19. Click here to learn more about AFA’s support groups.
Virtual Therapeutic Programs: We are holding regular “virtual” therapeutic programs, including as music, art, dance, yoga and exercise, over the Internet on our Facebook page to serve individuals who either cannot or are advised not to leave their homes. Videos remain posted on our Facebook page and YouTube channel and can be viewed at any time following the program’s conclusion. Upcoming programs include:
- August 9th- Art Reflections with the American Art Museum (12 pm ET)
- August 10th- Activity Tip for the Week (10 am ET)
- August 10th- Nature Mondays: New Canaan Nature Center (2:30 pm ET)
- August 11th- Mindful Meditation (2:30 pm ET)
- August 12th- Musical Theater with Kristyn (2:30 pm ET)
- August 13th- Dance with Jackie (2:30 pm ET)
- August 14th- Activity Tip for the Weekend (10 am ET)
- August 14th- Music with Lily (2:30 pm ET)
- August 15th- Facebook Watch Party Concert Series (2 pm ET)
- August 16th- Art Reflections with the American Art Museum (12 pm ET)
Memory Testing: Social isolation during the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t mean that you should be inactive. Exercising your brain is an essential part of a good health and wellness routine for everyone. AFA’s online memory test is a quick and easy way to challenge your brain and test your memory, without ever having to leave your home. Click here to give it a try.
AFA is also offering free memory screenings through videoconferencing every Monday and Wednesday from 10 am to 4 pm (ET). Make an appointment by calling 866-232-8484.
For the safety of our employees and those we serve, AFA’s staff are currently working remotely with regular business hours. We can be reached at 866-232-8484.
Additional sources of information about the coronavirus (COVID-19):
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- National Institutes of Health
- Your state and local health departments
The coronavirus is something that everyone should take seriously. The best ways to combat it are by being informed and proactive. We will continue to keep you updated with information that can be helpful.