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Title: Effects of social restrictions on people with dementia and carers during the pre-vaccine phase of the COVID-19 pandemic: experiences of IDEAL cohort participants
Authors: Pentecost, C
Collins, R
Stapley, S
Victor, C
Quinn, C
Hillman, A
Litherland, R
Allan, L
Clare, L
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease;carers;pandemic;vaccine;qualitative analysis
Issue Date: 28-Feb-2022
Publisher: Research Square Platform
Citation: Pentecost, C, Collins, R., Stapley, S., Victor, C., Quinn, C., Hillman, A., Litherland, R., Allan, L. and Clare, L. (2022) 'Effects of social restrictions on people with dementia and carers during the pre-vaccine phase of the COVID-19 pandemic: experiences of IDEAL cohort participants', Research Square PREPRINT, (Version 1), pp. 1-18 Available at Research Square: (accessed: 28 February 2022).
Abstract: Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). This qualitative study was designed to understand the impact of social distancing measures on people with dementia and carers living in the community during a period of ongoing restrictions before the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in England and Wales. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 11 people with dementia and 10 carers (including 3 dyads) living in the community in England and Wales. Participants were recruited during November and December 2020. We used framework analysis to identify issues and elicit suggestions for potential solutions. We identified three interrelated themes. People with dementia experienced a fear of decline in capabilities or mood and attempted to mitigate this. Carers were aware of changes in the person with dementia and an increase in caring responsibilities and for some, there was a change in the relationship. Subsequently, reduced confidence in capabilities to navigate a new and hostile environment created a cyclical dilemma of returning to ‘normal’ where not returning to usual activities made things worse. People with dementia and carers had feelings of neglect and being alone in their struggle, alongside feeling socially excluded during the pandemic when comparing themselves to others in society, and there was little optimism associated with the upcoming vaccine programme. People found their own solutions to reduce the effects of isolation by keeping busy and socially active and practising skills deemed to help reduce the progression of dementia. This and some limited local public initiatives for the general public facilitated feelings of social inclusion. This study adds understanding to existing evidence about the longer-term experience of social isolation several months into the pandemic highlighting the importance of health and community groups and how services can find ways to support, include and interact with people with dementia and carers during and after social restrictions.
Appears in Collections:Dept of Health Sciences Research Papers

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