Caring for those living with dementia, stroke and neurodegenerative diseases

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Public access to brain health information

Evidence-informed community-based interventions

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, many regions in Ontario reduced elective surgeries and clinic services, so that resources were available to manage the pandemic outbreak. This was an unprecedented challenge to our society and health care system.

For people living with brain disorders, as well as their families and care partners, negative impacts of the pandemic were disproportionate and pronounced, and their need for a support system and helpful information was more pronounced than ever.

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Richard Swartz, MD, PhD, ONDRI Co-Lead, speaks to CTV News about how to care for those living with dementia during COVID-19. Watch the full news clip here.

It was for this reason that in March, 2020, ONDRI leadership brought together a number of its partners, including its Patient & Community Advisory Committee (PCAC), in order to address the impacts that mandatory self-isolation was having on its core stakeholders, people living with neurodegenerative diseases and their care partners. The objective was to generate a series of guidelines and tips, which would help the community deal with the unintended consequences of COVID-19 and government-mandated self isolation guidelines around preventing its spread and “flattening the curve”.

ONDRI and partners’ messaging centred on four main points:

  1. Use technology.
  2. Make sure you have enough, but don’t stockpile medications.
  3. Know your resources and seek support.
  4. Be a good neighbour.

The joint messaging package devised by ONDRI and partners was followed up by an informational webinar that attracted over 180 community members. The core messaging was widely disseminated and was well received.