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Can Covid make dementia worse?

Hazel62

New member
May 10, 2020
1
My 87 year old mum lives in a Sheltered Cottage. I am her carer. Once lockdown started, no family have been allowed to visit including me. About 4 weeks ago, she had diarrhoea and a sore throat, 3 days later she was admitted into hospital with pneumonia and tested positive for Covid 19 the next day. At this time, her dementia was limited to her being forgetful, probably early stages. By the time she went to hospital, she was in conversation with someone in the house even when they put her into the ambulance. She responded very well that after 8 days, she was sent to another hospital for 6 days to get more mobile and work on her breathlessness. The doctors said she was confused. Was this normal? We explained that she asked the same questions time and time again, more forgetfulness. Mum got home last Wednesday. She could not remember how to work the remotes for her chair nor Sky TV. She thought my cousin was her carer, has gone back to another house from 40 years ago, can’t understand where my dad has gone, he died 15 years ago, doesn’t know my dog nor son over echo show. Thought all her clothes belonged to her neighbour, my brother and cousin were ignored this afternoon as she discussed with no one how the next door neighbours must be having people over and they were all at a train station! It goes on and on. Her carers come in 4 times a day and I think I will get in touch with them and the doctor tomorrow. The doctors are not sure if the dementia has leaped forward or it’s still delirium from the Covid 19. It is horrible to watch and hear especially with the lockdown on. Any ideas anyone? Hazel
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,461
Welcome to the forum @Hazel62 you'll find lots of advice and support here. I don't have personal experience of the effects of Covid-19 on dementia but hospital visits, delirium and any sort of infection can play havoc in those with dementia. It may be that your mum will improve in time but I think it's a good idea to speak to the GP to let them know about the new symptoms/changes in behaviour. It sounds like your mum will also need a higher level of care at the moment so I think you're right to speak to the care agency to let them know as they'll probably need to undertake a new needs assessment. There’s a forum here specifically for Covid-19 related issues so you may find some useful info there but keep posting as I’m sure others will have more advice for you:

https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/forums/coronavirus-covid-19.83/
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,096
Hi @Hazel62 Yes any change can set off a decline and especially a hospital stay. My dad had 3 weeks in hospital early last year and the mental and physical decline was dramatic.

He did recover when he came home but it was slow and he never got back to where he was before. He never really recognised his home anymore and he couldn't make a cup of tea again.

I moved in with him then as he could not live alone anymore.
 

PaulEd

Registered User
Feb 2, 2020
40
Worcestershire
I was looking for a thread like this. I can honestly say that Covid has made my mum worse. She has become very reliant on my father and has completely lost her routine. before Covid she was up and down to the shops, only buying one or two things a day but it was routine. Many of her friends have passed away now so the only chance she gets to speak to someone is when walking into town or Saturday coffee (she and dad live separately but he now visits every day.) Damned covid.