It is estimated that there are 670,000 people caring for someone with dementia in the UK.
Caring for a loved one with dementia poses many challenges for families and caregivers. Living with dementia requires having the right care, and it’s time to recognise and share what it means to be a carer.
So to celebrate the huge number of informal and family carers who support relatives with dementia every day Sunday 11 September was designated as National Dementia Carers Day. The day was founded by Dementia UK, the Alzheimers Society and Sweet Tree Home Care Services.
Helena Bladon, Carers Leeds, tells us why it’s as important to support those who care for as well as those who live with dementia every day.
‘Carers Leeds supported me and my sister-in-law at two meetings about my mum’s care. Without this support I’m not sure my feelings would have been taken so seriously.’ a carer
“Here at Carers Leeds, we know that carers of people with dementia are usually older people themselves with their own health problems. We know that carers find it very hard to leave the person they care for, that they often do not get a good night’s sleep, that caring can be challenging, exhausting and isolating. And, on top of this, they experience the sadness of gradually losing their loved one.”
However, with the right information, advice and support, carers can still provide the best care and also look after their own needs – and Carers Leeds can help with that. The Dementia Hub offers carers one-to-one and group support, training and informal activities such as Dementia Cafes. The Dementia Hub is a very well established, busy and essential service – please contact 0113 380 4300 for more information or support from one of the experienced support workers.
A new project is also starting where trained volunteers offer regular informal support to carers, mostly by phone. For those carers who find it difficult to leave the home, this sort support can be very helpful.
Carers Leeds runs a range of activities that any adult carer can access, including social events, training, table tennis , every Friday 11am – 1pm, cafes and lots of information and support to help carers in their caring role.
If you look after someone with dementia, you may have many questions and worries. Caring for a person with dementia can be rewarding, but it is also very challenging. You may not have the time to do all the things you need to do, and you may experience a range of difficult emotions. The needs of the person you care for will often come before your own, and this can mean that you don’t look after yourself properly.
There is support for everyone affected by dementia, including carers. But most importantl, remember that you’re not alone.