Julie, one of our experts by experience, shares how Covid-19 is affecting her life:
My name is Julie, I live alone with Young Onset Dementia and have no involved family near to me. I am normally very active in my local community, despite having increased mobility problems.
At the start of the lockdown I was not unduly worried. It would only be for a few weeks and I already had all my groceries and medication delivered. I could still get lots of work done online relating to my wider advocacy work. Indeed, at first I was even busier than ever as the number of organisations using Zoom for support groups and business meetings exploded. Very quickly, this became overwhelming as some days would be spent almost entirely on screen time. My energies were drained and I had to begin prioritising the number of sessions I attended.
Soon my regular deliveries came to an end due to all slots being booked weeks in advance. I couldn’t get to the supermarket myself as all the local taxi firms closed down. I was trapped, being made more vulnerable by enforced reliance on others, taking away the majority of my independence. My lowest point came when I needed an urgent medical assessment to be carried out, but due to my inability to get a lift to the hospital, I lost my appointment. Facing weeks/months of facing this on my own plunged me into deep depression.
My saving grace, keeping me relatively sane, have been my wonderful Dementia Buddies, in both this country and abroad. Together we have laughed, cried and supported each other through this. My prime concern now is for those who were diagnosed just before lockdown as they have no time to establish a support network and struggle more so to manage those early devastating days.
Blog written by Julie Hayden
We are now recruiting for the MSc Advanced Dementia Studies starting in September 2020