The challenges of COVID‐19 for people with dementia with Lewy bodies and family caregivers
Colleagues supported by the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre have written a paper on the challenges of COVID-19 on those living with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)
DLB is a condition, associated with complex physical, neuropsychiatric and cognitive challenges, making those living with it more vulnerable to COVID-19. In addition, adverse effects may occur from social isolation, the under‐treatment of existing DLB related symptoms/problems and the negative impact on caregivers.
Led by Alison Killen, authors included Newcastle University’s Kirsty Olsen, Dr Paul Donaghy, Professors Ian McKeith, Alan Thomas, and Deputy lead for the Newcastle BRC Dementia theme, Professor John Paul Taylor. The paper also included Professor John O’Brien from Cambridge University.
Authors found that, while the effects of COVID‐19 are widespread, it is important to recognise the challenges presented by the significant vulnerabilities associated with DLB. Lead researcher Alison Killen commented:
There is a pressing need for research to study the impact of COVID‐19 on this population including ensuring that people with DLB are not excluded from studies because of their age, shielding protocols or their dementia diagnosis. Using the person‐centred, problem‐solving approach highlighted in the paper, including recognition of the value of a multidisciplinary response, can mitigate some of the adverse effects of COVID‐19.
This should enable people with DLB and family caregivers to have their health and psychosocial care needs met in the short term, and develop resilience to withstand future COVID‐19 related challenges.