COVID 19 - swab test

Moddie

Registered User
Jul 15, 2017
3
Next Sunday we have to take our mother (81), who has severe, advanced dementia, to an NHS drive through Covid 19 testing centre for a swab test. This is a mandatory procedure prior to an operation she has to have. It will be a severely traumatic experience for her (and us). We have been advised by her GP to sedate her beforehand although we fear that won't help much. Does anyone have any experience of having to go through the same procedure with someone with dementia? Any advice or insights would be gratefully received. Thank you.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,315
Kent
Hello @Moddie Welcome to Dementia Talking Point.

I wish I could help. I would feel the same as you. I hope someone else will be able to reassure you
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,989
England
Hi @Moddie and welcome from me.

My daughter has been tested twice and said it’s uncomfortable. I can see how the test which consists of a nose swab and a throat swab will be traumatic for someone with dementia. It could feel like an assault to your Mum as she won't realise what is happening. She will have to comply and open her mouth wide, i’m not sure sedation would help . I hope you manage to get it done with least distress to your Mum.
 

Moddie

Registered User
Jul 15, 2017
3
Thank you @jaymor and @Grannie G I just hope whoever is going to do the test will be able to cope. Our mother is going to be extremely confused and then to have someone dressed scarily in PPE jabbing a swab down her mouth and up her nose will literally, as you say feel like an assault. In the worst case scenario there will be screaming and lashing out, which will be so distressing for everyone and frankly I simply don't know how the test will be successfully achieved. Of course I maybe worrying unnecessarily but I do wish the NHS would recognise that this form of testing is brutal and inhumane for someone with severe dementia - particularly when administered via a "drive through" procedure. I have asked her GP if we can achieve the test in a less scary environment but have been told that's what it is. I don't know who to email at the hospital (The Great Western in Swindon) to try to see if they can provide a solution. Our mother needs to have this operation done (regrettably - that in itself is going to be an ordeal) so the Covid test is vital. My sister and I are quite desperate.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
20,207
North Manchester
The hospital you mentioned has a specialist dementia friendly elderly care ward called Jupiter.
You could try contacting the ward and ask for advice.

Ward phone numbers:

  • 01793 607182
  • 01793 607184
  • 01793 605160
 

Moddie

Registered User
Jul 15, 2017
3
@nitram - thank you so much. That's hugely appreciated. I will definitely call to ask for advice. Repeated thanks.