Hearing how coronavirus has impacted people with dementia

An Oldham MP has been hearing first-hand how people living with dementia and their carers have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Debbie Abrahams (pictured), the MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, has chaired the first virtual meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on dementia. 

The APPG meeting brought together over 30 MPs, peers, sector experts and people living with dementia to share experiences on how people with the disease are being adversely affected during the current crisis. 

People with dementia attending the meeting spoke of how changes to everyday tasks, such as visiting the shops, had become more difficult and greatly affected their independence. 

The group also heard from a family member of someone living with dementia, who spoke of their concern at having a loved one in a care home during the pandemic. 

Commenting on the meeting, Ms Abrahams said: "People living with dementia have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. In April and May we know that a quarter of those who died from coronavirus, also had dementia. 

"I was really pleased to hear powerful testimony from people with dementia and their families allowing us all to gain a greater understanding of the unique difficulties they have faced during this pandemic. 

"Hearing the powerful stories of people with dementia being cut off from their families and how this can have a detrimental impact on their health demonstrates why the government must continue to do more to support people with dementia, and their families, and tackle the way the pandemic has so negatively affected people with dementia. 

"I welcome the government’s commitment this week to introduce a COVID-19 social care task force. However, given the huge impact of the pandemic on people affected by dementia, it’s important that the focus of the new task-force reflects this." 

Dementia deaths are rising year on year and 225,000 will develop dementia this year - that’s one every three minutes.

The full APPG meeting can be viewed by clicking here

Watch Debbie Abrahams introduce the meeting in the video at the top of the page.

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