High depression and anxiety in people with Alzheimer's disease living in retirement homes during the covid-19 crisis

Psychiatry Res. 2020 Sep:291:113294. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113294. Epub 2020 Jul 13.


To cope with Covid-19 and limits its spread among residents, retirement homes have prohibited physical contact between residents and families and friend and, in some cases, even between residents or between residents and caregivers. We investigated the effects of measures against Covid-19 on the mental health of participants with Alzheimer's disease (AD) who live in retirement homes in France. We instructed on-site caregivers to assess depression and anxiety in participants with mild AD who live in retirement homes. Fifty-eight participants consented to participate in the study. The participants rated their depression and anxiety during and before the Covid-19 crisis. Participants reported higher depression (p = .005) and anxiety (p = .004) during than before the Covid-19 crisis. These increases can be attributed to the isolation of the residents and/or to the drastic changes in their daily life and care they receive. While, in their effort to prevent infections, retirement homes are forced to physically separate residents from the outside world and to drastically reduce residents' activities, these decisions are likely to come at a cost to residents with AD and their mental health.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Anxiety; Coronavirus; Covid-19; Depression; Mental health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Anxiety / complications
  • Anxiety / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Caregivers
  • Coronavirus Infections*
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • France
  • Homes for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severity of Illness Index