Coronavirus (COVID-19) - dementia and COVID-19: action plan

This national action plan plan sets out how we will build on our national response to the coronavirus pandemic since March 2020 and how we will continue and expand that response in 2021 to continue to support recovery for people with dementia and their carers.

Improving the hospital experience

"We have tried virtual calls and though I can see my mum she does not interact with me which I find very upsetting. When I visited I could hold her hand and she would squeeze it so I knew"

"Our dad, was admitted to hospital during the pandemic and the care was excellent. However, due to COVID he was generally encouraged to sit by his bed. The difficulty with this is that his mobility and overall physical integrity began to decline, making it less likely he would be able to maintain fitness and mobility at home"

  • During the course of pandemic recovery, we must continue to ensure that when people with dementia require admission into acute care, they are cared for appropriately and discharged timeously back to their own home wherever possible and always to a safe and homely environment.
  • Throughout the pandemic patients with dementia have always been permitted to have a visitor while in hospital, even when visiting is suspended. Visits to support people with dementia were deemed essential throughout, in recognition of the stress or distress it could cause to a person with dementia if they did not have a visit from a loved one. (Reference visiting guidance.)
  • The Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultants, co-funded by the Scottish Government, Alzheimer Scotland and Health Boards, continue to respond to the needs of people with dementia during the pandemic. Over recent months they have provided expert advice on dementia care issues within acute, community and mental health hospital settings, as well as wider community locations, including care homes. They have led or been involved with the introduction of 'virtual visiting', ensuring people with dementia remained connected with loved ones through technology, where this is appropriate for the patient. They have also contributed to ethical decision-making groups, care home oversight groups, supported staff wellbeing, provided dementia education, provided family-carer support, and importantly worked with dementia champions and dementia specialist improvement leads to ensure the delivery of person-centred care for people with dementia using healthcare services at this challenging time.

Commitment 17: To support care for people with dementia in acute care during the pandemic, we will continue to co-fund to the National Dementia Nurse Consultant programme and we will fund a further cohort of the Dementia Champions programme which upskills and empowers frontline staff on dementia.



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