Senior Australian Couple Learning To Use Digital Tablet While Living Independently In Their Own Home

Covid-19 is taking a major toll on New Zealanders with dementia, who are already some of our most vulnerable citizens.

That’s our message as we enter World Alzheimers Month heading towards World Alzheimers Day (21st September).

Even under alert level 2, support services for thousands of New Zealanders with dementia are significantly disrupted. The situation was far worse during level 4 lock down. And rest homes, which are often home to people with dementia, go into lock down when new clusters surface.

It’s greatly exacerbated their already heightened sense of isolation and anxiety, prevented them from seeing family, disrupted daily routines that are so important to people living with dementia, and stopped carers from getting the breaks they so desperately need.

Most of the people who have lost their lives in New Zealand were associated with the aged care clusters, many of whom have dementia.

It’s great we have the pandemic under some sort of control in New Zealand, but out of our team of five million, people with dementia paid an extraordinarily heavy price.

Covid-19 has highlighted the need for a national, government-backed response plan to deal with the dementia challenge facing this country.

Earlier this year the dementia sector prepared and presented to government the first-ever NZ Dementia Action Plan. The Plan provides government with a blueprint for managing the rapidly growing incidence of dementia.

Now, more than ever, we need that Plan in place.

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