Author Lisa Skinner says the major impact that the pandemic has had on people with dementia in memory care facilities is isolation and loneliness. The seismic shift we are seeing is moving the Alzheimer’s patient into the home of adult children.
In Truth, Lies & Alzheimer’s – Its Secret Faces, behavioral specialist Lisa Skinner and co-author Douglas Collins devote two entire chapters on how the COVID-19 pandemic isolation triggered faster declines in cognitive health due to loneliness and not being connected. Singer and songwriter Phil Vassar shares his personal story in a chapter called “Bringing Mom Home” which details how his family was proactive during the course of Alzheimer’s disease and had a plan in place for each stage of it.
“We are social beings and need to interact with those we are close to and care about, but all that was taken away after COVID,” writes Phil Vassar. “Her isolation came directly out of the COVID situation. I believe isolation is like solitary confinement. It’s a punishment, a torture. Solitude is a terrible thing, and we weren’t going to let that happen to our mother.”
Author Lisa Skinner adds, “There’s power in those moments when we realize our true value and take action to live in a way that reflects those values. Our memories are the threads that sew our lives together in sequence and continuity.”
As the pandemic has wreaked havoc on our mental and physical health, it is also quietly reshaping how Americans will face retirement and old age in the years to come. The pandemic exposed “how shockingly inadequate our care infrastructure and systems are and how essential access to home care is,” said Aijen Poo, advocate for caregivers.
“When the overall brain is beginning to fail, the body seems to be less able to have the full ability to respond and recover to an illness,” explains Skinner. “The evidence to date indicates that older adults with dementia have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and, once infected, have a high risk of disease-related morbidity and mortality.”
Ezekiel Emanuel, a task force member for President Biden, said that “you will see a lot more focus on aging at home and figuring out how to shift the financial incentives to make that work.”
A big reason for the increase in Alzheimer’s and similar diseases is that the U.S. population is aging as the baby boom generation moves into retirement. Age is considered the greatest risk factor for dementia, with women accounting for about two-thirds of the cases (in part because they live longer than men).
About the Author
Author Lisa Skinner is a behavioral specialist in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. In her 25-year career as a community counselor, private adviser and Regional Director of senior care facilities, she helped thousands of families and caregivers understand the daunting challenges of brain disease. Her #1 Best-seller book Not All Who Wander Need Be Lost, was written at their urging.
Her latest book, Truth, Lies & Alzheimer’s—Its Secret Faces continues Skinner’s quest of working with dementia-related illnesses and teaching families how they can have a better-quality relationship with their loved ones through education and offering workshops on counter-intuitive solutions and tools to help people effectively manage the symptoms of brain disease. Lisa Skinner has appeared on many national and regional media broadcasts including: ABC News, Fox News, NBC News, CBS News, USA Today, and many others.
About the Author
Douglas W. Collins is an internationally respected business strategist who initiated Brand Development, Capital Acquisition, End Game and Go Public Scenarios, and Strategic Business Plans. He is an accomplished speaker and trainer having authored many presentations in sales training, global marketing, arts and entertainment, and broadcast media. He is co-author of Artist at Work honoring the legacy of western artist Kenneth M. Freeman. Collins also wrote the album liner notes for the best-selling CD Shipped by jazz pianist John Shipley, a founding member of the jazz fusion group Hiroshima.
Collins presently serves as the Director of Business Development of HEAMGEN, Inc. which is an exciting MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH Company for building resiliency into the global blood supply chain by applying patented technology to manufacture lifesaving mature, human Type O-Negative red blood cells from stem cells.
Collins was the founder and managing member for the Scottsdale, Arizona-based HD Broadcast AZ which provided live shot services to global networks. His company was profiled in USA Today’s “Money” section as the most advanced broadcast studio in the USA. He developed virtual set designs which added high production value to online webinars, streaming training sessions and commercials for Fortune 500 companies.
Collins is also the Executive Producer for the upcoming action thriller movie Cyberkill. The plot deals with artificial intelligence, cyber stalking and cyberterrorism. The project is currently in development.
Today, Douglas lives northwest of Atlanta, Georgia and in Coronado, Panama with Dianemarie, his wife of 45 years, along with their two pugs. He enjoys playing the guitar, movies and travel.