COVID isolation linked to rising Alzheimer’s deaths

Alzheimer's deaths have risen 18% during the pandemic. Efforts to halt the spread of COVID may have contributed to the rise.

Some call them deaths of isolation. People suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease have died at a higher rate since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic than at any time in recent years.

In Michigan, deaths from Alzheimer’s rose 18% in 2020 when compared to the average of the previous six years, according to an analysis by Bridge Michigan. The rates are similar around the country.

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People with Alzheimer’s Disease slowly lose the ability to care for themselves. They frequently require assistance for even simple tasks, such as eating and dressing.

Typically only seen in people over age 65, these people are also much more susceptible to diseases than the general population. That’s led to complications during the coronavirus pandemic as health care providers weigh keeping people safe against keeping people well.

A growing body of research has shown that isolation leads to worse outcomes and higher mortality among people with Alzheimer’s. That’s certainly appeared to be the case during the past ten months.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.

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