Dementia symptoms have become worse due to a lack of stimulation during Covid-19 restrictions, according to the Chief Executive of the Alzheimer Society.
Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, the charity's CEO Pat McLoughlin said there are concerns that many people who were functioning well before the Covid-19 pandemic will have reverted after months of social isolation and could end up "inappropriately too early in residential care".
Mr McLoughlin said social contact routine is very important for those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s and he hopes that services resume as soon as possible.
He explained that the society has tried to connect, in a virtual way, with those who attend services such as clubs and cafes, but it does not replace the benefit of face to face interaction.
The society is still unable to give people any date of services reopening, despite other parts of society reopening, he added.
Mr McLoughlin said that resuming services will be challenging but the society has given the HSE a list of large, purposely-built centres that could open now.
He reassured families that things will be done carefully and safely and safe social distancing will be practised.
He said that anyone who is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s is advised to stay connected and maintain normality as much as possible.
Alzheimer's Helpline: 1800 341 341. Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm. Saturday 10am to 4pm.