WORCESTERSHIRE Health and Care NHS Trust has provided this information on how to help people living with dementia remember Coronavirus and what they need to do:

1. Use posters and reminders in the house. Pictures and words are best. Put them on the doors, next to the sink and in places that are regularly passed. Point out the poster and make a clear statement “We need to wash our hands”

2. Keep communication as clear as possible and try to focus on what you need to do rather than why you must do it.

3. Tell your loved one that this is advice from a person they trust – maybe the GP, their children, the government so they understand this isn’t your choice.

4. Use your digital devices to set reminders – “It’s time to wash your hands” “It’s time to phone a friend”

5. Link washing hands with a song, music or story. Pay close attention to details such as how the water feels, the smell of the soap and memories linked to times when you wash hands (work, school, hospitals)

6. People with dementia, at all stages of difficulty, will pick up on anxiety and panic. Be aware that you may be anxious too. Breathe through your own anxiety and try to stay calm. Be matter of fact and upbeat.

7. Limit access to the news, radio and conversations about covid-19 and the risks. This heightens anxiety and is hard to explain

8. Prioritise getting on well if you can, behaviours are easier to change if you keep the mood light and encourage.

9. Encourage family and friends to maintain regular phone and digital contact and ask them to explain that they are washing hands, keeping their distance, staying at home. We are all doing this together.

10. Keep busy in the house as much as possible and if you need a break to go out, use the garden or make a plan to sit and look out of the window.

11. Use your local community well. Explain to neighbours that your loved one may not remember the guidance and that they need to contact you if they are talking a walk outside. Remind everyone that this is not breaking rules it’s simply not remembering.

12. If possible, set up different areas around your home so that you can move from activity to activity: watch favourite films and musicals in the living room. Listen to the radio in the kitchen. Do jigsaw puzzles at the table. If you can, take walks around the garden

13. Try and arrange repeat prescriptions to be delivered or again, to be picked up by family and friends

14. Staying physically active during this time will help to keep you mentally and physically well

15. See what their social network is like, can they keep in contact with others, for the most part this will not be in person, talking to others generally helps put things in perspective

16. Can they help and support others, this can be really important for them (plus ensures we are doing something valuable too)

17. Focus on what they can control, what are they doing well they can build on

18. Can you get them to have some break from COVID 19: ensuring they don’t listen to the news all day long or have it on in the background

19. If you can, it might be an idea to identify two “flu friends” who you can call on

20. It is possible that your loved one will become suspicious about the advice and the isolation. Reassure them that they are safe at home and keep in mind a list of activities, songs, conversations and interests that you can use quickly to maintain their wellbeing

21. Those with dementia can easily develop a delirium. Pay close attention to changes in levels of confusion or unusual behaviour. Seek medical advice if you think they are showing symptoms -NHS 111 or phone the GP/CPN

22. Use the Herbert Protocol with your local Police force. This lets them know all about your loved one and allows for quick action if they go missing. Find more information by calling your local Police station or calling Age UK

23. “Having a plan in place can help ease your worries if you are not able to care for those you look after at any point in the future” Carers UK. Visit www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/practical-support/planning-for-emergencies for advice

24. The National Activity Providers Association are currently providing free access to their website for ideas and Activities in the home NAPPA - http://napa-activities.co.uk/membership/free-resources

25. Dementia UK also has good advice https://www.dementiauk.org. And a helpline number O800 8886678

26. Please do ask for help. Contact your local Alzheimer’s Society or Age UK team for a conversation. Link with friends and LOOK AFTER YOURSELF.

How to help people living with dementia stay well

The following are essential psychological needs - for everyone- but also founded on the needs of people living with dementia


Everybody needs love and acceptance. Having to self-isolate may make it harder for us to do the things that make us feel love or loved, as we can’t see the people we usually see or access activities we usually engage in. You could think about making a photo album with pictures of all the people you care about so you can look at them whenever you want to. How about adding in stories of times you have enjoyed together? Look after yourself, and maybe spoil yourself a bit; get your favourite food in, listen to your favourite music, sit in the garden and enjoy nature.


We all need our basic needs met including our emotional need to not feel anxious. It is natural that with all the news about the COVIT-19 virus and feelings of uncertainty we might feel more anxious than usual. There are lots of ways we can control our anxiety. It might be useful to limit the amount of time we spend watching the news – they are lots of confusing messages out there that can increase anxiety. Some people find that practicing mindfulness, or trying relaxation techniques help with anxiety. A lot of people now enjoy mindfulness colouring to give them something to focus on rather than thinking of what is going on in the world that we can’t control


Routine and structure in your day are likely to help in maintaining activity during this time. Maintain your routine as much as possible at home. This means you will still be completing self-care activities such as bathing or showering even if you are not going out and so it makes your routine feel more ‘normal


It is important to be a part of something. Try phone calls or whats app groups with friends, family and neighbours. Call your friends and family regularly. Perhaps even set up set-time calls to your nearest and dearest at a convenient time for all.. for example 12pm just before lunch, or 6pm after work just before tea!

Dementia diaries

If you are someone living with dementia you may want to connect digitally through Dementia Engagement Empowerment Project . You may want to become a dementia diarist or to listen to what others people with a dementia are doing, learning and sharing.

Connect with others virtually maybe through https://dementiadiaries.org

Social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, have been displaying fantastic acts of support for older adults concerning the difficulties caused by the coronavirus including:

• The hashtag "#SelfIsolationHelp" became popular, with people using it to offer assistance and run errands for older adults who have been asked to self-isolate

• Supermarkets have introduced dedicated shopping hours for the elderly

• Live group online streams to bring people together online. For example, cook along together, exercise together, wellbeing exercises together

• Creating an endless online community, giving older adults who are quarantining an accessible platform to ‘join in’ with others and truly realise they are NOT ALONE!


A sense of identity helps us define and remember who we are as a person. During the time we are isolated it will be important to remind ourselves of all the things that are important to us. That might be by having things that are important to us around us, such as a picture or photograph we like or playing music we have enjoyed. Playlist for life (https://www.playlistforlife.org.uk/) offer advice on putting together a list of your favourite music. Some people make a life story book where they put all the things that are important to them in one place.