Vol. 15 nº 4 - Oct/Nov/Dec de 2021
Original Article Páginas: 440 a 447

Virtual day center for people with dementia and their caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Authors Virgínia Lúcia Reis Maffioletti; Maria Alice Tourinho Baptista; Bethânia Abranches; Gabriela Koatz; Valeska Marinho Rodrigues; Andrea Deslandes; Marcia Cristina Nascimento Dourado


keywords: adult day care centers, dementia, pandemic, caregivers.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic suspended face-to-face assistance offered by community spaces, such as day centers (DCs). People with dementia (PwD) and their families were faced with the risks posed by social detachment and suspension of treatments.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to present a virtual day center (VDC) program offered as a preventive strategy to reduce the damage caused by social isolation and interruption of treatment imposed by the pandemic.
METHODS: The experience report, describing the feasibility of a VDC program, offered to 26 PwD and their caregivers, during the first year of the pandemic. The VDC held individual and group meetings with PwD and their families and psychoeducational support groups for caregivers.
RESULTS: The attendance rate in group activities was 80%, and that in the caregiver group was 68%, showing a good virtual interaction. Throughout the year, three PwD interrupted the service due to difficulties of the caregivers to reconcile the schedules of the activities with their professional commitments and the absence of a support network, three others died, and two were institutionalized. PwD remained physically, socially, and cognitively active through daily virtual activities. Guidance and support for caregivers contributed to the organization of routines and adaptation to the isolation and maintenance of the bond. Family meetings made it possible to mediate conflicts and expand the support network.
CONCLUSIONS: VDC is a promising modality to assist the needs and demands of PwD and their caregivers. VDC can contribute to the expansion of this intervention to individuals and families who do not have access to face-to-face treatment.


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