It’s a tricky time right now for everyone, but particularly for those who are awaiting vaccination imminently because of age or health. Some parts of the UK are forging ahead with their vaccination schedule, others are slipping behind because of supply issues, according to GPs.  

It’s only natural to be anxious to see where you come in the queue (and if you want to get a rough idea you can put your details into this calculator to see when you might be called up), but please don’t call your surgery as they will contact you when it is your time. Those with dementia are right towards the front of the queues: at the time of writing more than four per cent of the UK population had received their first jab; as more centres are opened and more people recruited into the vaccination teams the rate of vaccinations will only speed up. 

So what can you do while you wait? In short, continue staying safe and staying inside. Do take advantage of the daily exercise, though, even in poor weather, as this is a definite mental health booster. Use a fitness tracker if you have one to assess just how many steps you’ve taken in a day – doctors recommend at least 10,000. This is almost impossible to do if you stay inside, unless you have an hour of dancing or jogging round the kitchen island! To avoid risk, choose an early or later time of day to go out with your loved one. The sun rises at about 8am at the moment so a nice early walk could offer lots of rewards – birdsong, signs of spring, and most importantly, not many other people around. Although the risk of transmission of the virus outside is much lower, it is still a risk and not one worth taking with the vaccine so close, so take all possible care when out and about. 

Keep the mind active too, with games that your loved one finds easy to play, music and perhaps ordering food for themed nights – if they visited special countries when younger you could surprise them with a night themed around that country. Specialist dementia jigsaws such as these are available (and with a range of sizes/pieces cover all stages of the dementia journey).  y

This page explains more about the Covid 19 vaccine and who is at higher risk. And this page looks at ways to prepare your loved one for the jab, including tricky issues of consent and anxiety.