Information for carers of people with dementia

Information for carers of people with dementia

Caring for a person with dementia can be difficult and upsetting. As a carer, you have a legal right to have your own needs assessed. Assessments (where you will be asked about any psychological distress you may have, and about the impact of caring for someone with dementia) should happen as often as needed, including (if appropriate) after the person you are caring for has entered residential care. You should be offered psychological treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy if you are distressed or depressed.

To help you in your role as a carer, you should be offered:

  • education about dementia and its treatments (in a group or on your own)

  • support in groups with other carers that is suited to your needs

  • support and information over the telephone or the internet

  • training courses about dementia, the services available and problem-solving techniques to help with caring for someone with the condition

  • the chance to involve other family members in family meetings.

The person you are caring for might also be involved in some of these activities.

You should be given support in attending any of the activities listed above, such as help with transport or someone to look after the person you are caring for while you are out.

The care team should make sure that you have the opportunity to take short breaks (or 'respites'), which should be suited to where you live, the demands on your time, and also the needs of the person you are caring for. These breaks might include day care for the person you care for, someone to look after him or her during the day or at night, or an overnight or short-term stay for the person in residential care. Transport should be provided if necessary.

You and the person you are caring for have the right to receive financial support where available. Some types of support that may be available are described in planning your care. You may also be entitled to receive carer's allowance.

Questions you could ask about caring for a person with dementia

  • What can I/we do to help and support the person with dementia?

  • Is there any additional help that carers might benefit from or are entitled to?

  • How much respite care am I entitled to on a regular basis?

  • What financial benefits may we be entitled to and where can we find information about them?