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COVID-19: free books and posters aim to keep people with dementia safe

Older people's nurse Lynne Phair has co-authored resources to help people living with dementia keep safe during the COVID-19 crisis

Older people safe during COVID-19
Picture: Getty

An older person’s nurse has co-authored a book, Keeping Safe in Residential Care Settings During the Pandemic 2020, to help people living with dementia in long-term settings stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The free book was developed by independent nurse consultant Lynne Phair and care home manager Jim Watt. They adapted it for the UK setting from a draft by Canadian dementia expert Gail Elliot.

Ms Phair said she wrote the book, which is based on government advice and literature, to support care staff to provide more information to residents in a way they would understand.

‘It must be bewildering for people with dementia to have their routines changed and not be able to see loved ones,’ she said. ‘This may increase their distress and responsive behaviours. Carers, whether paid or family members, are under enormous amounts of stress at this time, and a person repeatedly asking why they cannot go somewhere or see someone will only add to the caring burden.

‘Our aim is for the book to help people living with dementia to understand “in their moment” what is happening in the world.’

Downloadable book is supported by posters to display in care settings

To ensure its suitability the book was reviewed by the residents’ book club at Ashbourne Lodge care home in Derbyshire, which is managed by Mr Watt.

In the downloadable book, which is supplemented by posters to display in care settings, residents observing social distancing are encouraged to ‘smile brightly or wave from afar and let everyone know you are happy to see them’.

A separate book is also available for people living with dementia at home. Both books and posters can be downloaded from Dementia and Supported Living the Montessori Way.

View our COVID-19 resources centre


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