Helping Residents with Dementia Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in LTC Communities

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP 
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

This 4-page document acknowledges challenges to and provides strategies for preventing the spread of COVID-19 among long-term community residents living with dementia.

Strategies used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are especially difficult for residents with dementia living in long-term care communities, such as nursing homes, certified Alzheimer’s units or memory care facilities.

Areas addressed include:

  • Refraining from touching their face
  • Practicing hand hygiene
  • Wearing a mask
  • Refraining from placing things in their mouth
  • Keeping residents in safe areas
  • Maintaining social distancing

Everyone living with a dementia will respond to this situation differently. Be prepared to try a variety of approaches to help residents feel safe and reassured.

Now, more than ever, staff’s knowledge of the residents is so important. Putting the person before the task allows every task to be an opportunity for engagement. Person-centered care decreases disruptive behaviors which may occur due to inconsistencies in daily routines, boredom, loneliness, or a sense of helplessness, therefore helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Thank you Texas Health and Human Services and TMF Networks for this helpful tip sheet.