Exploring caregiver burden and health condition of dementia patients during lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic
Ruchira Mukherjee1, Bidisha Bhattacharyya1, Adreesh Mukherjee1, Goutam Das1, Sujata Das2, Atanu Biswas1
1 Department of Neurology, Bangur Institute of Neurosciences, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGME&R), Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Neurology, Bangur Institute of Neurosciences, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGME&R); Department of Neuropsychology, Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, 1489, Mukundapur, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Department of Neurology, Bangur Institute of Neurosciences and I.P.G.M.E&R, 52/1A, S.N. Pandit Street, Kolkata - 700 025, West Bengal
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries imposed strict lockdown to ensure social distancing to limit the spread of the virus. This caused difficulties in the management and care of patients with various chronic disorders including dementia. Objectives: The objective of the study was to explore the health condition of patients with dementia and assess their caregivers' burden during the lockdown. Methods: A total of 57 caregivers of patients with dementia who had attended the cognitive clinic of the institute for a follow-up within 1 year preceding the lockdown were assessed through telephonic interviews. Caregivers' details were noted following an interview related to the patients' health condition during lockdown and caregiver concerns. Results: Findings showed a deterioration in memory in 66.7% of patients with dementia and an increase in symptoms like agitation, sleeplessness, low mood, restlessness, aggression, etc., Caregivers felt helpless and had to manage new concerns and they were not sure as to how to deal with the situation. Conclusion: The lockdown situation disrupted the health conditions of dementia patients and caregivers faced novel challenges while managing them.