Alzheimer’s dementia affects the lives of nearly 33 million people around the world, according to information from the World Health Organization. A neurodegenerative disease, associated with the elderly, which has also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oswaldo Cachay, a neurologist at the International Clinic, mentions that The new coronavirus has indirectly affected Alzheimer’s patients as many have lost the support and support of family members and caregivers.
“The family has had to adapt to a reality of management with the patient. In some cases not necessarily bad, because it has brought the family closer. There are families who entrusted their patient to caregivers and nowadays due to the risk of an external caregiver moving they have had to adapt ”, he mentions.
For his part, the graduate in Nursing Victor Huarcaya, a nursing professor at the Carrión Institute, adds that During the pandemic, symptom control in Alzheimer’s patients becomes more difficult.
“A face-to-face medical assistance is limited and it is difficult to carry out a comprehensive review. The effort made by both the family and the caregivers to identify the warning signs that aggravate the health of the Alzheimer’s patient also gives rise to constant concern ”, he explains.
SYMPTOMS IN PANDEMIC
The Azheimer manifests itself with progressive losses of new memories, in addition to presenting signs of critical neuronal impairment.
Cachay affirms that the main symptoms are hallucinations, but also they may have episodes of anxiety.
“To treat hallucinations, you should continue with your doctor’s regular treatment, regular and virtual periodic consultations in order to continue with your medication. Perhaps some patients, especially the mild stages, may suffer degrees of anxiety. Due to the perception of confinement in these cases, the treatment of a specialist may be anxiolytics or antidepressants. It will also help above all the company and family support, which is actually the basis of an Alzheimer’s treatment ”, she mentions.
Huarcaya explains that both caregivers and family members must be attentive to warning signs in order to keep them safe.
“The aspect of emotional support and within the home must be provided to that person, due to the mood swings they have, typical of the disease. A very important aspect is also applying exercises ”, he explains.
The disease occurs in mild, moderate and chronic stages. The sleep disorders they can be early signs of this disease.
“In moderate dementia, important changes are already shown in terms of memory, calculation, behavior and especially in the subject of sleep disorders, which often leads to overload of the caregiver”, says José Mansilla, specialist in medicine internal.
DEPRESSION AND LONELINESS
In the midst of the new coronavirus pandemic, we wonder if depression and loneliness can affect Alzheimer’s patients.
Cachay mentions that the cases are particular: some are in the care of their family, which makes it difficult for them to be alone during the day.
“Alzheimer’s patients are, in great part of their functions, dependent on care, food and hygiene. Therefore, it is almost incompatible that a patient with Alzheimer’s is alone. The situation will be better for Alzheimer’s patients in medical care centers or geriatric care centers. They will be able to better manage patients, ”he says.
Huarcaya explains that it is important emotional support to better cope with the disease.
“The sudden lack of some emotional support also increases the state of health. [Es importante] Due care to be able to detect depression and loneliness that can increase and affect the situation of people with Alzheimer’s, further aggravate their health situation ”, he concludes.