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Caring for someone with dementia

If you care for someone with dementia, find out how to get them the support they need, as well as support and benefits for yourself.
3 min read
In this article
Getting support if you are a carer Getting support for the person you are caring for

Getting support if you are a carer

During the early- to mid-stages of dementia you might care for your loved one yourself, perhaps in partnership with support from social services or a private care provider.

 

If you’re involved in their care, Carers UK offers support and advice for carers, and Admiral Nurses (run by Dementia UK) offer specialist help and support for those affected by dementia. Admiral Nurses are not available right across the country, so it’s worth asking if your local community has a service.

 

When you’re caring for a loved one it can help you to hear about other people’s experiences in similar situations. Dementia Challengers is a volunteer-run website for carers of people with dementia. As well as practical advice, there are also plenty of real-life stories.

Carer’s Allowance

If you spend more than 35 hours per week caring for your family member, you might qualify for Carer’s Allowance. You should also contact the local authority and ask for a carer’s assessment, as they might be able to provide help specifically for you in addition to the care provided for your family member. It is really important you look after yourself and get the support you need.

Dementia day care centres

There are often local day care centres that offer support to people with dementia and that your loved one can attend for a few hours a week. This can be a good way to socialise, and it can also give carers a well-deserved break. If you feel that you need to take a longer break from caring, have a look at our guide to respite care.

 

Explore what options are available from local charities, too. Additional support groups such as dementia cafes and befriending services can also be helpful. Find out what’s available in your area by asking your GP and contacting your local Age UK or Alzheimer’s Society.  

Alzheimer's Society

A charity aimed at improving the lives of people living with dementia.

Alzheimer's Society

National Dementia Helpline:

0300 222 1122

 

Mon–Wed, 9am–8pm; Thu and Fri, 9am–5pm; Sat and Sun, 10am–4pm


If you have speech or hearing difficulties and have a textphone or an adapted computer, you can use Text Relay to call our helpline on:

18001 0300 222 1122

 

Age UK

Age UK helps with the challenges you face in later life. Its vision is to make the UK a great place to grow older by inspiring, supporting and enabling in a number of ways.

ageuk.org.uk

For the Age UK advice line and befriending service, call:

0800 055 6112

Every day, 8am–7pm, including all bank holidays

 

Support groups near you
Use our directory to find support groups for carers and people living with dementia.


Getting support for the person you are caring for

Needs assessment 

Your family member or friend can ask for a needs assessment following a dementia diagnosis. This is a free assessment of the help and advice that they need, carried out by their local authority. If the local authority assesses them as being eligible for care, they will prove a care plan followed by a financial assessment.

 

If your loved one has already had an assessment, you can ask for a review if you think that their needs have changed. This is covered in more detail in reassessing care needs. 

Mobility

Some forms of dementia affect a person’s mobility. If this is the case, your loved one might need mobility aids or adaptations made to their home. We give you more information on making home adaptations and financing home adaptations.

Further reading

Last updated: 12 Nov 2018