Caring for someone with dementia
In East Lancashire there are people who you can talk to such as the Dementia Support Worker and the Dementia Advisors, you may find it useful to attend one of the Dementia Cafés or Support Groups. Dates, times and contact details for these are available here.
When a loved one receives a diagnosis of dementia it can come as a shock, even if you have been half expecting it, this will be a worrying and upsetting time for all the family. However, there are many things that you can do in the early stages that can help to make life easier and more enjoyable, both now and in the future.
Alzheimer’s Society have produced some helpful publications about caring for someone with dementia, which can be found on their website at:
As a carer or loved one of someone with dementia you may need to help them to make everyday decisions when this becomes difficult for them, decisions such as going shopping or getting dressed. The attached guide Decide for Yourself has been developed to help you to help the person with dementia retain some independence and choose for themselves, things such as what they would like to eat, or where they would like to go today.
We would like to thank Geraldine Boyle and Katherine Ludwin for sharing their research.
Dementia Friendly homes The Virtual Care Home is an online resource by Dementia Services Development Centre, that demonstrates dementia-friendly design in care home settings or people’s own homes.
Understanding age-related changes and impairments is the first step towards creating living environments which support the needs of older people and those with dementia, keeping them safe from dangers such as falls, which can have a devastating effect on an older person; allowing them the freedom and confidence to use their abilities to the fullest extent, in all things from the mundane to the creative; aiding memory in day-to-day living; and reinforcing personal identity.
Care Navigation If you do need more support to care for your loved one either in your own home or with a short break or possibly with residential care, Lancashire County Council can help. They provide a free and impartial support service called Care Navigation who will talk with you about your needs and preferences to identify services which meet your requirements.
You can contact Care Navigation Services on 0300 123 6720 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or click here for more information.
Residents of Blackburn with Darwen should contact the “Your Support,Your Choice” shop on (01254) 292620
Life Story Work is a tool to enhance the care provided to older people, particularly those with dementia. It gives people the opportunity to talk about their life experiences to create an individual biography. It is a collaborative process with the person, family members and friends and emphasis is placed on using images and photographs to bring the life story book ‘to life’.
The potential benefits of Life Story Work as an intervention for people with dementia and their families have been recognised for some time, in terms of promoting individualised care, improving assessment, building relationships between care staff and family carers as well as improving communication.
One family carer commented:
‘Doing life story work with my husband has made a difference to our relationship. I thought we had nothing in common these days but doing the life story made me realise we had a lifetime of experience and joy. My husband loves looking at the photos of us all’.
This information is from Dementia UK, which offers practical support for Life Story Work. Click here for more information.
Lifestory Network is a network of individuals and organisations dedicated to sharing knowledge and experience of life story work.
If someone is living with Dementia then Rally Round can help organise jobs and helpers. Rally Round is a FREE online service which makes it easy for friends and family to come together and help a loved one stay safe and well at home.
Get started now – it’s FREE. Go to: https://app.rallyroundme.com/get_started
Carer’s Allowance Caring can take a lot of your time and make it difficult to work. If you care for someone for 35 hours a week or more, you may be entitled to carer’s allowance. You can check eligibility and apply for carer’s allowance online Carer’s Allowance The current rate is £62.10 per week. If you receive carers allowance you can still earn £110 per week (after tax and 50% of your pension contribution).
If you receive carers allowance you will also have national insurance stamps credited protecting your entitlement to state pension.
While the state pension is counted as income for Carer’s Allowance occupational pensions are not. If you have taken early retirement to care for a loved one your occupational pension will not be counted as income for carer’s allowance eligibility.