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There is a lot of advice, information and support available if you care for someone with dementia

If you look after someone with dementia you need to be at the heart of their care and support.  You must get support to help you do this.

You also need to make sure you take care of your own health and wellbeing.

Get in touch with your local carer service. They may offer support specifically for carers who look after someone with dementia. They may also help you meet other carers in a similar position.

What is dementia?

The most common forms of dementia are Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.  

These destroy nerve cells in the brain which cannot be replaced to the symptoms get worse over time.

Dementia can cause memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding. Memory problems do not necessarily indicate dementia, as some forgetfulness is part of everyday life. More serious memory problems can be caused by many factors other than dementia. If you are concerned about problems with your memory, make an appointment with your GP.

You can’t cure dementia but there are drugs that can help with some of the symptoms.

Find out more about What is dementia? on the Alzheimer's Society website.

Make sure:

  • You have a carer’s assessment. It is a chance to discuss your needs with your local council.
  • Your GP knows you are a carer as they may be able to offer you support.
  • You, and the person you care for, write a will.
  • You have Lasting Power of Attorney sorted out for the person you care for.
  • The person you care for has had an assessment of the their needs from your local council.
  • You claim all the benefits you can.
  • Someone has given you information on what dementia is and how it will affect the person you care for.

Carers Road Map: A guide for carers of people with dementia

Our Carers Road Map online guide can help if you care for someone with dementia. It includes lots of information that you might find helpful:

  1. When dementia is diagnosed
  2. When the carer takes on an active role
  3. Legal and financial planning
  4. When the person with dementia needs more support 
  5. Different types of care options
  6. When the carer needs emotional support and/or a break from caring
  7. When the person with dementia loses their mobility
  8. When the person with dementia has other health issues
  9. When the carer has to manage changing behaviour
  10. When the carer’s own circumstances change
  11. When the person with dementia becomes incontinent
  12. Considering decisions about residential care
  13. End of life care

Legal guide to dealing with dementia

The legal guide to dealing with dementia, from Wright Hassell, could really help if you have recently been diagnosed with dementia or if you support someone who has. 

Next update due: June 2017