Coping with the current crisis is hard for all of us. But for vulnerable people self-isolating with the challenges of coronavirus AND dementia – it can be a struggle to just get through the day.
Brian, 76, and wife Sheila, 82, live near Chichester, and had been visiting Dementia Support’s Sage House for over a year. Sheila has dementia, and now has difficulty in communicating. She’s often sociable and happy, but confusion caused by the dementia is emotionally distressing for both of them, day and night.
Brian has maintained regular contact with Jane, one of our specialist dementia staff at Sage House, since they started self-isolating:
“Sheila has real highs and lows. Sometimes we can dance and sing together, other times she forgets how to eat and drink, and shouts out in frustration.
We both miss Sage House. I find it difficult to engage Sheila in any activities. Meanwhile, I am very lonely. A meaningful relationship with Sheila is no longer there. I just want to do the best for her, but it’s so hard.”
With Jane’s support, Brian is doing everything he can to help keep Sheila occupied and settled and to look after himself. They’re having a tough time, like so many of our customers, but regular, intensive support and resources are vital to help get them through. The situation is utterly exhausting for both of them – which is why constant communication with one of our specialist team members – day by day – is so vital.
“I have to compliment Jane for her frequent support. I feel like a human being again.”