Getting support

If you are caring for someone with dementia, you may want or need support at some point. Caregivers who have less social support are more likely to experience stress and depression. You will benefit from different types of help and support, ranging from practical care to give you time off to having someone to talk to about your feelings and concerns. Not every type of support suits every caregiver and there may be some trial and error in finding the right services for you.

Ask what is available in your area. Even if you don’t need it at the time it may be useful in the future. You could ask your local Alzheimer’s Society, Doctors, memory clinic or social services department.

Support from local services

The memory clinic may have support programs (such as a support group) in place for family caregivers, as well as people with dementia.

Support from Friends and Family

Even though you may be coping well now, caring for a person with dementia may gradually become more demanding, both physically and emotionally. You may find involving family and friends helps to give you a break and reduce some of your stress.

  • Try to involve other family members. Even if they can’t offer day-to-day care, they may be able to look after the person while you have a break, or they might be able to assist in other ways, such as helping with finances.
  • Try to accept help from friends or neighbors when they offer it. If you say you can manage without help, they may not think to ask again.
  • It may help to suggest ways that people can help. Sometimes people may not offer because they don’t know what they can do. You could ask them to stay with the person for an hour, or to go for a walk with them.
  • Let people know how valuable their support is.
  • It may help to talk to your family and close friends about dementia. Tell them what life is like for you, and for the person you care for. This may help explain what is happening for you and the person with dementia and will help them understand how much you do.
  • Listen to others who may be able to share their own advice and discuss their own experiences.