Carers of adults with dementia often have high levels of stress due to:
- the physical and mental challenges of caregiving
- coping with other responsibilities, such as work or caring for children
- health and mobility problems of their own
- financial issues.
It is essential that carers have good support to enable them to manage the stresses and demands of caregiving.
NHS England report that there are around 540,000 carers of people with dementia in England and it is estimated that 1 in 3 people will care for a person with dementia in their lifetime. Only half of carers are employed and around 66,000 people have already cut their working hours to care for a family member, while 50,000 people have left work altogether.
Carers of people with dementia face challenges to make sure that their own physical and mental health needs are being recognised and met, both because of the demands of the caring role, but also because of difficulties with accessing support.
Dementia Connect is the Alzheimer’s Society personalised support and advice service for people with all types of dementia, their families and carers. People can talk to dementia experts, who will help them find the right support. The NHS Long Term Plan sets out to continue working with the Alzheimer’s Society to extend the Dementia Connect programme.
Just over a third of adult carers have as much social contact as they would like
Quality of life of carers
Our dementia quality standard highlights that carers should be offered education and skills training, to enable them to manage the stresses and demands of caregiving and to fulfil their role.
Data from Public Health England shows the proportion of adult carers who have as much social contact as they would like has decreased from from 41% in 2012/13 to 36% in 2016/17 suggesting more needs to be done to support carers to improve their quality of life.
Dementia UK's Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline offers practical advice and emotional support for anyone affected by dementia. This includes care staff and carers, people living with dementia and those worried about their memory.