The foundation:

COVID-19 dictionary for people with Alzheimer's

The users of Fundació ACE Daycare Hospital have carried out a very special exercise to assess their verbal fluency and memory: they have made a list of the words they have had to use most often or that they have known for the first time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The result of this exercise has been a list of 76 words that could very well be considered a complete dictionary on the COVID-19 for people with Alzheimer's.

Thus, words such as state of alarm, confinement, coronavirus, virus, quarantine, pandemic, infection, disinfection, curve or peak have been widely used during these months by Day Hospital users. Also all the consequences that the pandemic has had on people's daily lives: teleworking, videoconferencing, ERTE's, unemployment, health crisis, economic crisis, social crisis, health collapse, queues, patience, etc.

The names of agencies or government officials who have reported the health crisis frequently are also part of this dictionary for people with Alzheimer's: Fernando Simon, conseller Buch, Alba Vergés or the WHO (World Health Organization). Even the expression "press conference". 

Another widely used word that was little or not at all known before the health crisis is Wuhan, the name of the Chinese town where the first outbreak of the coronavirus was located. The names of animals such as pangolin or bats have also been recalled by users as the likely origins of the pandemic. Another term refers to the patient zero who imported the coronavirus into Europe or the first to contract the disease in the world.

Protective measures and symptoms

The users of Fundació ACE Daycare Hospital have also had and continue to have very much in mind those words that refer to the protective elements to avoid possible contagion: mask, gloves, hydroalcoholic, disinfectant, booze, emergency equipment or PPE (Personal Protective Equipment used by health personnel), as well as the resources used to combat or detect the disease: laboratory, respirators, rapid test, PCR, ICU, antibodies or field hospital.

The symptoms experienced by people who contract the coronavirus (tiredness, dry cough, headache, lack of smell and lack of taste) also occupy a prominent place in this dictionary, as well as possible treatments such as vaccine, antipyretics, antibiotics, but also other more unpronounceable words such as dexamethasone or hydroxychloroquine.

More recently, users have made use of other words more related to movement restrictions and the progression of the pandemic: health regions, phases, de-escalation, new normality or social distance.

Although many of the words most often used by users to express their feelings during confinement have had a negative connotation, such as grief, stigma or fear, they have also recalled other more emotional actions, such as virtual hugs, sanitary applause and balconies, as a regular place of expression and recognition of health professionals who have fought and continue to fight against COVID-19.


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