Action for Carers Surrey
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Enabling carers to have a voice and realise a life outside caring

Looking after someone with dementia

Looking after someone with dementia

There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and the numbers are set to rise rapidly as our population ages. According to the Alzheimer’s Society unpaid carers supporting someone with dementia save the economy a staggering £11 billion every year.

What is dementia?

Dementia is used to describe a collection of disorders which lead to a loss of brain function. These conditions are usually progressive in nature and include symptoms such as memory loss, confusion and problems with communication. Unfortunately there is no cure for dementia.

Looking after someone with dementia

Caring for someone who has dementia can be a challenging experience. It is very common for carers to feel frustrated and guilty. Many carers feel they’re not doing a good job but it’s really important to remember that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect carer’.

As dementia progresses there are some things which can help manage day to day living. If communication becomes challenging you might find simple things like using short sentences and speaking slowly can help. The NHS has some great tips on communicating with someone with dementia here.

Keeping your house dementia friendly can also make life easier. Having good lighting and using brightly coloured cloths and towels can alleviate some of the symptoms of confusion. Have a look at the Useful links section below for more tips on making your home dementia friendly.

 

Looking after yourself

People often say that receiving a dementia diagnosis for a loved one is an enormous shock but it’s important to remember that people with dementia can continue living well and, with support, can stay at home. However it’s crucial that you take care of yourself too and make sure you are accessing everything you need.

Support groups can be very helpful, you might find talking to someone in a similar situation helps you to recognise you’re not alone. Staying on top of the basics like eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise will all keep you feeling more positive about your situation. But if you do find you’re struggling it might be worth speaking to your GP.

Practical things like getting your Carers Assessment done and registering as a carer with your GP will ensure you are accessing any benefits or respite services you might be entitled to. If you need help with any aspect of this, please do give us a call on 0303 040 1234.

 

Useful links

Below are some useful links from other organisations which you might find helpful.

NHS - Communicating with someone with dementia

NHS - How to make your home dementia friendly

Support Groups for carers in Surrey

Alzheimer's Society carer support

Carers UK - Carers Road Map: A Guide for Carers of People with Dementia

 

And don't forget you can call us about ANY aspect of your caring role, if you want to have a chat, find a support group or need some help with filling in forms (such as an Attendance Allowance) then please give us a call on 0303 040 1234.