Guidance for carers of people with dementia

University College London | September 2020 |Guidance developed for dementia carers when dealing with COVID-19 infection

A team of researchers from University College London (UCL) have developed a decision-making guide for dementia carers, to ensure they can provide the right support and with dignity, should those they care for become infected with coronavirus.

The researchers based at Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department at UCL, have observed the challenges to carers who can’t be with their loved one or person they support, due to visiting restrictions and having to social distance or shield themselves.

This often means that dementia carers have to make quick healthcare or legal decisions over the phone with a health professional: someone who may have no knowledge of the care and interventions the person with dementia requires.

The new guide, which was developed with families of those with dementia, is funded by an Economic and Social Research Council COVID-19 grant and supported by end of life care charity Marie Curie, Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK.

The tool has been designed to support carers work through situations, medical and legal jargon so they can make informed decisions quickly under stressful circumstances.

This includes do not resuscitate orders, legal issues like power of attorney, and ensuring that health and social care professionals understand what is important to the person they are caring for when that patient’s loved ones can’t be by their side.

The research team hopes that the new guide will also ease the emotional burden that families can experience and help resolve any feelings of uncertainty about the decisions they have made for their loved ones (Source: UCL).

Full press release is available from UCL

The decision aid can be downloaded here

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