Health Care

Higher than average numbers have died of dementia since start of pandemic

More people than average are dying from dementia this year as seniors battle the coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis of federal data by The Washington Post.

Patients are dying from dementia at higher rates because of isolation measures in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Post found. People who are over 65 were encouraged by health officials early on to isolate because of their vulnerability to the virus.

In recent months physicians have reported increased falls, pulmonary infections, depression and sudden frailty in patients who had been stable for years, according to the Post.

Mental and physical stimulation are among the few things that can help slow the effects of dementia in patients. 

Though people living in nursing homes make up a small portion of the population, they have accounted for roughly 40 percent of U.S. deaths from COVID-19.

According to the Post, nursing homes are continuing to ask for funds for testing and protective equipment. 

“It’s like we as a country just don’t care anymore about older people,” Dan Goerke, a man whose wife suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, told the newspaper. “We’ve written them off.”

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