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What Support is Available for Dementia Carers?

November 16th, 2023

Dementia support for carers is an important part of the experience of caring for someone with dementia. Dementia brings with it many challenges, and being a caregiver for a parent, relative or loved one can be rewarding, but there will be arduous times too. That’s why accessing dementia support for carers will help you to provide the best possible care for your loved one living with dementia, while also maintaining your own health and wellbeing. This guide explains some of the options available when looking for Alzheimer’s and dementia support services as a carer.

Alzheimer’s And Dementia Support Services

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If you have just started to look at dementia support for carers, then these are a few of the places that you might find useful:

NHS

The NHS website has some practical advice and guidance on how to care for people living with dementia. It includes things like how to help with dressing and bathing, or with navigating the challenges you might face with dementia and eating problems.

You can, of course, also speak to your own or your loved one’s GP about dementia support for carers. They may be able to give individualised advice about your loved one, or even point you in the direction of local groups and nearby Alzheimer’s and dementia support services.

AGE UK

Age UK is a very helpful resource for all manner of age-related issues, including dementia support for carers. You can find valuable advice on dementia care, including things you may not yet have considered, such as driving with dementia or managing money.

Alzheimer’s Society

The Alzheimer’s Society is dedicated to supporting those living with dementia and their caregivers. You’ll find information about dementia, how to take care of yourself as a carer, and fundraising events and ideas. There are numerous resources and guides on the challenges faced and how to overcome them too.

Support Groups For Dementia 

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Wherever you are in your journey of looking after a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, there will be dementia support groups or practical help available to you. These groups can offer emotional support from those experiencing or who have already been through a similar experience, and provide tips and advice on caring for someone living with dementia.

Local Support Groups For Dementia 

As well as accessing help via websites, speaking to like-minded people face to face can be the best kind of dementia support for carers. Caring for a loved one who is living with dementia can bring with it moments of joy and recognition, but also days of sadness and difficult times. This experience is one shared by many and talking it through with people who understand can really help you to continue supporting someone with dementia. Look online for local support groups for dementia, ask your GP or use social media to search for groups near to you.

Online Support Groups For Dementia 

The websites listed above will have links to online forums and chats, such as the Talking Point service offered by The Alzheimer’s Society. These virtual support groups for dementia are easy and free to join and give you access to help and support at any time. Dementia can be unpredictable and there may be times when it isn’t possible to visit a support group in person. Having the option to go online and find welcoming support groups for dementia means you can find someone to talk to at 3am or when facing a new hurdle that you need help overcoming. 

Memory Cafes

Memory cafes are social spaces for people with dementia and their loved ones. Memory cafes are for you both to have a shared experience and spend time away from the day-to-day routine. They are not respite care facilities, as you stay with your family member or friend, but they are a cathartic and sociable way of accessing dementia support for carers. Memory cafes allow you to enjoy time with a loved one and reconnect away from the rigours of caregiving.

Practical Dementia Support For Carers

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Alongside emotional dementia support for carers, you may be looking at some of the more practical aspects of caring for someone living with dementia. There are a number of things that might make the journey easier, including: 

  • Financial Support – Whether you’re a full-time carer or are managing your responsibilities around a career, you may be entitled to certain benefits or financial help. Attendance Allowance or Carer’s Allowance are two such benefits that are worth looking into. It might also be useful to talk about making an advance will or arranging a power of attorney
  • Aids and Adaptations – Making adaptations to the home, such as moving a bedroom downstairs, or implementing dementia aids and memory prompts, can make your role as a carer much easier. 
  • Technology – There is plenty of assistive technology out there that can act as support for dementia carers. Smart speakers can set reminders throughout the day, GPS trackers can help you to know where your loved one is, and smart heating apps allow you to control the temperature when you aren’t at home. 

Respite and Residential Dementia Care From New Care Homes

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be taxing, or often means pressing pause on your own life for a little while. It’s understandable that there are times when you need a break. This is where respite care can be a great source of dementia support for carers. Respite care can give you some time to recharge, with the peace of mind that your relative or friend is being cared for in a dedicated respite care home with trained staff. 

As Alzheimer’s or dementia progresses, you may also start to think about the possibility of residential dementia care that can offer round-the-clock support and assistance to your loved one living with dementia. The dementia care journey can be a long and complicated one and it’s understandable that there may come a time when you can no longer maintain the level of care needed.

If you’d like to find out more about our respite or dementia care services, or about any of our care homes near you, we’d be happy to talk you through the care we offer and arrange a visit. Please contact us for more information.