During the current pandemic, if a person living with dementia becomes unwell, the family and the person living with dementia may have to make rapid decisions.
Decisions may concern hospital admission or whether to receive care at home, and which treatments the person may or may not wish to receive. These decisions will have an impact on the emotional wellbeing of both the family and person with dementia.
University College London (UCL) have worked with current and former carers and experts who support people living with dementia and their carers to develop a decision guide to help carers when making decisions during this difficult time. The guide covers a number of decisions carers may need to make if the person they are caring for has or is suspected to have COVID-19. These include decisions such as how to care for them if they are unable to visit them, whether they should go to hospital if they become unwell and what it means to have a ‘do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation order’. Their document will guide carers through the process of making these difficult decisions whilst taking into consideration wishes and preferences of the person living with dementia and the legal aspects of making decisions. They also provide useful tips for carers, such as the COVID-19 symptoms to watch out for which may differ to the commonly recognised symptoms, where to find help and support when making decisions and how to look after yourself as a carer.