Alzheimer's Society Innovation Hub

Getting a dementia diagnosis during a pandemic

We know the difficulties in getting a dementia diagnosis for people at the best of times. We know in pieces of work that have taken place that it can be harder for people to receive a diagnosis. For example, in England, it is estimated that there are over 210,000 people with dementia without a diagnosis, and diagnosis rates in local areas range from around 50% to over 90%.

What about people who are currently needing to self-isolate or ‘shield’ without a diagnosis of dementia? How can they get a diagnosis from their own homes so that they can access the support out there, understand their symptoms and plan for the future?

edited on Mar 31, 2020 by Natasha Howard
Natasha Howard

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Natasha Morgan 6 months ago

This is a really interesting point which considers the longer term impact that coronavirus might have for people with dementia. Thanks Natasha for sharing. I wonder, is anyone aware of systems for remote diagnosis that already exist? I'd be interested to hear from researchers about anything looking in to this.

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Jennifer Bute 6 months ago

I would have thought it would be possible to do some cognition assessments either over the phone or on the internet? I would hope that those at risk would also be known to families and they can liaise with their GP's by mail if necessary

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Natasha Howard 6 months ago

Thanks Jennifer, some really helpful thoughts and ideas here. Thanks for also highlighting another potential challenge around whether families would be aware of their family member developing dementia at this time, particularly if they aren't able to visit one another.

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Alice Sparksman 5 months ago

Thanks for raising this point I would be interested in remote diagnosis possibilities - I am supporting someone who's wife has had her assessments/scan cancelled for now so the route to diagnosis has stalled, and he feels her possible dementia is progressing now in the lockdown which is challenging. With no official diagnosis the chance to have access to medication & support is also stalled for her.

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