Lifestyle feature

‘He is losing his connection to the world’: Caring for someone with dementia during a pandemic

The coronavirus lockdown is difficult for everyone to comprehend but for those with dementia it can be impossible. Sophie Gallagher talks to the families struggling to provide 24/7 support or unable to visit loved ones in care homes

Monday 18 May 2020 09:28
comments

The first time Estelle Clarke, 28, really noticed her dad’s forgetfulness was when he couldn’t remember the word for hedgehog, instead describing it as the spiky animal in the garden. Phillip Clarke, 60, was officially diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia four years ago, although the family suspect he had it for many years prior. He is still able to do physical things for himself like get dressed or make a cup of tea, but wife Tracey, 58, has become his primary carer at their home in Derbyshire, which they share with 33-year-old son Scott.

Estelle normally visits at the weekend and takes her dad to a sweet shop where he picks out his favourite treats, but since the lockdown began on the 23 March, she has been unable to visit and instead relies on video calling. She tells The Independent that the coronavirus pandemic has had a visible impact on her dad and his illness not least because it disrupts his routine and requires him to remember new rules, which he quickly forgets.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments