The BC Alzheimer Society’s Dementia Hotline has been experiencing an increase in call volumes across the province, including the North, in response to COVID-19.

“In the last 6 months we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of calls,” explained Carly Gronlund, Provincial Coordinator of the FirstLink Dementia Helpline at the Alzheimers Society of BC.

The Helpline has been around for a number of years and will now be available until 8 pm from Monday to Friday.

“It’s available to anyone who has questions about dementia or if they’re maybe noticing changes in themselves,” added Gronlund, “a lot of our calls are from caregivers who are looking for strategies to manage some of the changes and challenges that can come along with Dementia.”

The recent uptick in calls doesn’t come as a shock to the Alzheimers Society, as people suffering from Dementia have had their own set of adversities come from the pandemic.

“The ability to remember that there are social distancing protocols can be tough for people living with Dementia,” explained Gronlund.

“People living with Dementia often rely on a set routine and schedule and the pandemic and all of the social distancing and visitor restrictions really changed that for a lot of people,” noted Gronlund.

In addition, she explained that the pandemic has led to the suspension of a lot of programs that people living with Dementia rely on.

“We know that these changes are really hard on all of us, but even more so for a person living with Dementia,” Gronlund explained.