CovId-19 and SOcial isoLATion in dEmentia care (ISOLATE): impact and needs of people with dementia, informal carers and healthcare professionals.

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Brief description

A qualitative study on the impact and needs of people with dementia, informal carers and healthcare professionals during times of social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Dr. Hanneke Smaling, senior researcher, LUMC, UNC-ZH
Dr. Mandy Visser, senior researcher, LUMC
Prof. Dr. Wilco Achterberg, Professor of Institutional Care and Elderly Care Medicine, LUMC


Dr. Mandy Visser, senior researcher, LUMC 

Participating organizations

Topaz, Alzheimer Nederland

Start study

1 September 2020 

Expected completion

1 September 2024 


Social isolation due to COVID-19 restrictive measures appears to have a major influence on the well-being of people with dementia, informal carers, and healthcare professionals. While loneliness and challenging behaviour in people with dementia may increase, reduced social support for informal caregivers increases their burden. In addition, rules regarding physical distance and the use of personal protective equipment complicates the work of healthcare professionals.

This study investigates the impact of social isolation during the COVID-pandemic on home- and long-term care for people with dementia, informal caregivers, and professional caregivers. Interviews are conducted with 20 informal caregivers and 20 professional caregivers about their concerns, problems, and needs regarding dementia care and social well-being in times of social isolation.

Results will be translated into recommendations to improve the quality of future home- and long-term care for people with dementia. These recommendations will be disseminated in collaboration with Topaz, UNC-ZH, and Alzheimer Nederland.


This research was supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) grant number 50-56300-98-533.


Mandy Visser, Bram Tilburgs, Wilco Achterberg, Hanneke Smaling. How social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacted persons with dementia, family caregivers and healthcare professionals: a qualitative study. Poster presentation 26NKG 2022.

Smaling HJA, Tilburgs B, Achterberg WP, Visser M. The Impact of Social Distancing Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic on People with Dementia, Family Carers and Healthcare Professionals: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(1):519.

Interview ZonMw