Face masks: should a person with dementia wear them?

HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
5,880
London
Face mask.jpg

From today (Friday 24 July), wearing a face covering will be compulsory in shops as well as public transport in England. However, some people living with dementia may not understand why they need to wear one.

There is advice on our blog, where you'll find help with face coverings and guidance on who may be exempt from the new rules.

If you have any thoughts on this, or experiences you'd like to share, please feel free to comment below.

 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
7,124
Bristol
Thanks for posting that, Harriet. Luckily when we went to hospital yesterday ( a rare outing recently) Christel managed to wear her mask without problems. So many other things to think about though if you are looking after someone who is not so easy going or who has the kind of problems listed.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,775
Essex
Thankyou for bringing this up Harriet. Of course I don't have to worry about this anymore but I do sympathise with those who are still carers or who live with dementia. However dad was also deaf and the doctors and nurses often told me that this had an effect on his dementia so therefore I advocate wearing masks with sea through mouth pieces.

MaNaAk
 

theunknown

Registered User
Apr 17, 2015
436
Brilliant idea MaNaAk - why on earth is nobody producing these? I struggle to understand people speaking through a mask and, I think, even people who don't have problems with hearing rely on facial expressions, as well as speech, to communicate. Start up your own company and make see-through masks :). I'd buy them.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
965
Southampton
you are exempt for masks if you lip read my husband is exempt because of copd. doesnt it say that if the person has a disability that would cause them distress them by wearing a mask they are exempt would that apply to dementia sufferers?there is a formal list on gvt website and how they can get an exemption card to show
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,775
Essex
I have a friend who cared for both parents (one of whom had vascular dementia) who is losing her hearing. She has the most advanced hearing but admits that she is struggling to understand people in masks now that she is lip reading. She is making her own masks.

MaNaAk
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,775
Essex
I dread to think of the trouble I would have had with masks if I was still caring for dad and I take my hat off my wonderful friends here are having to cope with this.

MaNaAk
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
3,094
West Hertfordshire
I think if the will willingly do so, or you can persued them to without too much angst, then they should.

to say 'people with dementia, by definition, are exempt , is wrong, because like most conditions its a spectrum of disability , not a ''one size fits all''
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
965
Southampton
i dident mean it how it sounded. i meant if the mask is tolerated then great but if not there is an exemtion. sorry jessbow didnt mean to offend you
 

margherita

Registered User
May 30, 2017
2,570
Italy, Milan and Acqui Terme
Here in Italy it has been compulsory also outdoors since the beginning of the epidemic early in March.
I make my husband wear it and when he starts complaining I tell him it's the law. He is not happy with it, but the word " law" seems to be very effective.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,775
Essex
I think if the will willingly do so, or you can persued them to without too much angst, then they should.

to say 'people with dementia, by definition, are exempt , is wrong, because like most conditions its a spectrum of disability , not a ''one size fits all''
I can imagine dad constantly taking his off if he was still around so I can see what @jennifer1967 (I hope your back is better) means.

MaNaAk
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,775
Essex
Good luck on Sunday you must be exhausted. I have found that I need a firm
mattress for my back. My poor dad ended up with osteoporosis as well as Alzheimers,
diabetes and deafness. The number of falls he had made things worse but the hospital prescribed Vitamin D tablets.

I hope you have sufficient care for your husband whilst you go through this.

MaNaAk
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,588
Kent
I couldn't even get dad to keep a plaster on his head to cover 8 stitches after a nasty fall and he picked out the stitches day by day! So...would have had no chance with a face covering but the exemption criteria would have allowed his exclusion. For compliance with someone with dementia it greatly depends on their level of understanding, compliance and agitation I should think and I would have printed off an exemption label for dad, if he had still been at home with me and not in his care home.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,775
Essex
I had the same trouble with hearing aids and arm slings but anyway a friend of mine has just joined two deaf societies on Facebook and they advocate wearing badges that say "I need assistance" as well.

MaNaAk

PS: @Lovedadbut walking sticks were sometimes an issue with dad losing his and walking off with someone else's.
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,588
Kent
I had the same trouble with hearing aids and arm slings but anyway a friend of mine has just joined two deaf societies on Facebook and they advocate wearing badges that say "I need assistance" as well.

MaNaAk

PS: @Lovedadbut walking sticks were sometimes an issue with dad losing his and walking off with someone else's.
Oh yes, a recurring memory about our dear dads. The lengths dad used to go to in the care home to hide his as well as collecting others, sometimes walking around with 3 or 4 under his arm! I remember mum telling me ages ago before dementia that dad always kept his walking stick close as he had one pinched while he wasn't looking in a supermarket cafe so as well as the 'oh I will pick that up as it might come in handy later' similar to cutlery in his pockets, maybe somewhere in his memory he also remembered the cafe incident! Who knows!
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,775
Essex
I think you're right @Lovedadbut I trying to diplomatically retrieve a walking stick from and smiling and saying your name's not 'Barbara'! Another time I couldn't find dad's stick until I noticed resident M (Alz) with two diplomatically retrieving it from her!

MaNaAk
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,588
Kent
I think you're right @Lovedadbut I trying to diplomatically retrieve a walking stick from and smiling and saying your name's not 'Barbara'! Another time I couldn't find dad's stick until I noticed resident M (Alz) with two diplomatically retrieving it from her!

MaNaAk
If the 'thanks dad for finding my stick' didn't work...I used to deliberately try to get dad to hold something else in each hand asking him to look after it for me...cup of tea, biscuit, anything else I could grab...by the time we did all the hand and object shuffling...it did take time...I was usually able to get the sticks and hide them quickly while dad looked bemused! It reminded me of the 'street' con artists who confuse someone on how much money and change they had been given or hiding an object under 3 cups and shuffling them...I got quite skilled at the sticks game, dad gave me a lot of practice...and glasses as we both know.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,775
Essex
Yes I became a good con artist as well and I used to get dad to look after things whilst doing something else including handing a ladies cardigan that had materialised in dad's room back to a carer. I had to do something similar with resident M and dad's walking stick! Although dad never ended up with pink diamanté glasses!

MaNaAk
 

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