FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – For anyone struggling with a cognitive disorder, like Alzheimer’s, human connection can be crucial to your health and wellbeing. Like many other things during this pandemic, this has been stripped away and caregivers and those fighting these diseases are now paying the price for it.
The lack of human connection could be detrimental to the health of those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
“The main reason why is that routine has been broken things that were maybe a part of their weekly activities such as going to the park or going to church those types of activities got disrupted,” said Carey Lingenfelter, CEO of Home Instead Senior Care in Rogers.
Betsey Arnold, CEO of Broyle’s Foundation, has seen the hard reality of Alzheimer’s first hand with her parents over the last several years. She says she cannot imagine going through this during a pandemic.
“This pandemic has been devastating on both the caregivers and their loved ones that have the disease especially the ones that have memory care or are in assisted living because they’re not able to see their loved ones and they don’t understand it,” she said. “It’s very detrimental on them bc they can’t see their families and they don’t understand it and you can explain it to them but because of their disability short term memory loss they don’t really understand why so there’s been a pretty steep decline in everybody.”
Lingenfelter suggests if you have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia and cannot see them due to the pandemic, write them a letter, find ways to connect with them virtually and talk to their caregivers about how you can remind them that they are not forgotten.He also says whether we have this disease or know someone who does, the more we talk about the it and healthy ways to cope, the better off we all are.