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Pandemic Prep Critical for Caregivers of People with Alzheimer’s

People with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers face a unique set of challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. In Tennessee, more than 120,000 people age 65 or older are affected by Alzheimer’s.
While dementia itself doesn’t increase risk for COVID-19 illness, experts say associated behaviors and health conditions that accompany memory loss might. Kelsey Williams, program manager at the Alzheimer’s Association in Tennessee, said increased confusion is often a key indicator that a person living with Alzheimer’s isn’t feeling well.
“People with dementia are often under-diagnosed and under-treated for viruses like influenza and other conditions because they can’t communicate verbally that something might be wrong,” Williams said.
She added caregivers can place signs in bathrooms and kitchens as extra reminders to wash hands with soap for 20 seconds, and even demonstrate proper handwashing. And families who need guidance can call the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 COVID-19 helpline at 800-272-3900.

Photo: More than 430,000 Tennesseeans are family caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. But are they prepared for dealing with their loved one during the pandemic? (Adobe Stock)

Lucky Knott

Lucky Knott

One of Southern Tennessee's most experienced and recognized news broadcasters and play-by-play sportscasters. Current news director for On Target News and manager of Rooster 101.5 FM. Knott can be heard on 93.9 The Duck, The Rooster 101.5 and Whiskey Country 105.1 and 95.9. Lucky has done play-by-play for over 3,445 sports events on Radio & TV. He also served 4 years as the Public Information Officer for the Coffee Co. Sheriff's Dept. and taught Radio/TV for 6 years at Grundy County High School.

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