Older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, according to public health and clinical experts.1–2 Among adults with confirmed COVID-19, those aged 65 years and older are more likely to be hospitalized, to be admitted for intensive care, and to die. In fact, 8 out of 10 deaths associated with COVID-19 in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and older.1–2
Older adults also have the highest rates of dementia. An estimated six million adults have some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia.3
Given the risks that older adults face from both COVID-19 and dementia, CDC is providing this additional guidance to caregivers of adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to help them manage their patients’ physical and mental wellbeing as well as their own wellbeing. Not all people living with dementia require caregivers. Therefore, the degree of assistance a person needs will depend on the extent that their dementia has progressed. For people living with dementia, changes in behavior or worsening symptoms of dementia should be evaluated because they can be an indication of worsening stress and anxiety as well as COVID-19 or other infections.