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When your service looks after people with learning disabilities, autism, dementia or mental ill health, you might need specialised versions of guidance. 

Dementia 

COVID-19 may present particular challenges to people living with dementia and those that support them. It’s important that care workers are able to identify the symptoms of COVID-19 in people with dementia so appropriate treatment can be sourced as soon as possible. Care staff also need to be aware that delirium is now recognised as being a condition linked to the presentation of COVID-19 (particularly in older people) as this can present new challenges in terms of recognition and management.

Coronavirus restrictions may be especially difficult for people with dementia. Person-centred care planning and really knowing the person you are supporting will improve understanding regarding why and how a person is reacting to the environment, the situation they are in and the people around them. Working with what the person can do and embracing the positive aspects can support them to make choices and receive care that is meaningful to them.

Maintaining communication and contact where restrictions are enforced is vital to well-being. The care worker’s role is to support this and to provide mental and physical stimulation as appropriate. Reminiscence and life story work is especially effective for people with dementia as tapping into long-term memory can make it possible once again for them to enjoy interacting with others, through their stories.

 

Dementia in care homes and COVID-19 

SCIE has published a quick guide to dementia in care homes and COVID-19 which illustrates four different situations (including helping residents with confusion and managing behavioural challenges) and how these can be managed.

 

Safeguarding adults with dementia 

Safeguarding adults with dementia is an important part of everyday work for providers of adult social care. SCIE has developed guidance on safeguarding adults with dementia during COVID-19. Something else that employers may want to consider in the current circumstances is ensuring that all clients and residents have an Advance Care Plan in place.

 

Guidance: Supporting people outside of their home 

This guidance is for people who need support outside their home and people who provide this support, which may include: 

  • family or friends 
  • carers 
  • staff in services and shops 
  • volunteers. 

It outlines how the COVID-19 transmission risk can be minimised when support is provided so that people who may have had problems going out on their own while maintaining social distancing, can visit shops, socialise or exercise safely.  

 

Learning disability and/or autism

Guidance for care staff supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

This guidance help care staff and personal assistants to keep people with learning disabilities and autistic people safe, support them to understand the changes they need to make during the COVID-19 outbreak and protect their own wellbeing.