NHS Scotland has published guidance to aid GP practices in conducting anticipatory care planning conversations with dementia patients and their carers living in the community during COVID-19.
The guidance has been prepared in collaboration between the Scottish Government, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Alzheimer Scotland and The Life Changes Trust and is in addition to current guidance on anticipatory care planning (ACP).
It points out that there are some very specific positive reasons why it may be important to consider ACP conversations for people with dementia during the pandemic. "People living with dementia in general are at increased risk of a sudden deterioration in their health, and many will have less resilience to infection. There may be capacity issues (in relation to making decisions during a deterioration), which make it difficult for health professionals to know what care and treatment to provide in the event of a sudden illness or an emergency."
The guidance also states that these general considerations should be borne in mind when dealing with dementia patients in the current pandemic but a person-centred approach is still important and necessary.