Practical Support for Carers
When you are caring for someone who has dementia it is important to remember that your needs matter too. There are times when caring for a loved one with dementia is arguably the hardest job in the world: you need to know that there is practical and emotional support available to you.
So, what sort of support is available?
Help with care
There is a wide variety of home care options available. Following financial assessment these may be provided free by Social & Community Services, who will also provide a Care Manager. If you are arranging care services privately you may find it helpful to use non-means-tested disability benefits, such as attendance allowance, for this.
Time to Yourself
It is important to make time for yourself, and there are lots of ways to get a break from providing care. Our Getting a Break section has details about different sorts of respite care, and holidays too.
A Chance to Talk
There may be times when even close family or friends don't understand how things are for you, or situations that you don't want to share with them. A Carers Support Group is somewhere you can chat with other carers, who know what it's like.
The Alzheimer's Talking Point is an online discussion forum that provides support for people with dementia and their carers, by allowing you to "chat" over the internet with other people who understand what it's like for you.
A number of organizations also have Carers Support Workers, who can visit you at home, meet elsewhere, or talk on the phone. As well as providing you with information they offer the opportunity to have someone to talk to, who is there just for you.
Our Who Can I Talk To? section has more information.
A variety of support is available to carers of all ages through Carers Centres (Princess Royal Trust for Carers) offer carers a variety of support and services, including:
- Support Workers
- Young Carers Projects
- Support Groups
- Help with Form Filling
- Training Courses
- Respite Funds
As a carer you have the right to have your needs assessed by Social & Community Services. This is the chance to have someone outside your situation look at what you are doing for the person you care for, and suggest what support or services are needed to maintain your health and well-being (e.g. driving lessons, or training on how to lift properly). The Alzheimer's Society factsheet Looking after Yourself has further information.
More information to support carers is contained throughout this site, for example:
- Financial Advice
- Help with Form Filling
- Knowledge & Skills for Caring
- Day Centres
- Support for Carers and Family Members