Dementia: What help is there?
Since the publication of the 2009 Dementia Strategy , the first time England had produced such a document, the subsequent Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2012 and the most recent Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020, dementia has been in the headlines an unprecedented amount.
As a result of this focus, diagnosis rates have increased (it is currently believed that around 850,000 people have dementia in the UK) and we have undoubtedly seen more people being referred to us who are either living with dementia or are in the early stages of developing it. Currently around 64%of our clients have a form of dementia.
The care and support we provide is often supplementary to that which is given by unpaid family carers, friends or neighbours, many of whom often ask a very simple, but vitally important, question – What help is there?
Fortunately, with greater levels of awareness and understanding about dementia, more resources exist than ever before. The following is just a small selection of what is available:
Alzheimer’s Society are the leading UK charity supporting people with all forms of dementia, their families, wider society and government in dementia awareness, information and education, including through the Dementia Friends programme.
Dementia UK are the charity who pioneered Admiral Nurses, specialist dementia nurses who support families affected by dementia. Their Admiral Nursing Direct helpline is staffed by these nurses and is an invaluable source of support.
Young Dementia UK support younger people (under 65) who are living with dementia and their families.
Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP) brings people who are living with dementia together so that they can benefit from peer support and provide a powerful collective voice in designing and shaping services.
Dementia Challengers is a website created by a daughter who cared for her mum with dementia. It’s packed full of lots of ‘real life’ advice and information.
Join Dementia Research is the website to visit if you have an interest in helping with much-needed research into dementia.
For unpaid family carers
If you are an unpaid family carer, you should contact your GP’s surgery to make them aware that you are a carer – this enables your GP to offer you additional help and support to manage your own health needs effectively. More information about healthy caring is available from the NHS England ‘Healthy Caring Guide’.
You are also entitled to a Carer’s Assessment under the Care Act. This assessment is available to all unpaid carers, regardless of your financial or personal circumstances, and is provided by your local council. More information about the Carer’s Assessment is available via Carers UK.