The number of people in the UK living with dementia is headline news, but behind the headlines are carers and relatives, who are in need of care and support almost as much as their loved ones.
At Care UK, we know that their role is vital, not only in their own loved one’s life, but also to society. We also know that sometimes the level of care and devotion they show sometimes pushes family care givers to their limits.
Our own research has shown that almost one-third of adults with parents aged over 60 want to be able to care for their parents at home or are already doing so, with 67 per cent feeling worried about what will happen to their parents as they age.
But research by Carers UK has shown that 60 per cent of those caring for someone living with dementia have reached breaking point, with many of those people unable to seek help for themselves because of their caring responsibilities. Rose Elliot, one of our dementia specialists, said: “At Care UK we know that if carers know where to go and have access to information and support within their local community, this can make their life a lot easier and happier in the long-term.
There are many places people can ‘drop in’ to find out where to go for further support – such as a local care home, a Citizens Advice Bureau or talking to a financial advisor about all your options. While online, carersuk.org is a great place to start. Taking this all-important step towards getting sound information and professional advice really can make a big difference.
That is why we offer short term stays in our care homes, known as respite care, to give family carers a break. We also provide domiciliary care with support workers who can care for people in their own homes while family carers have a few hours to themselves.”
Care UK also runs a number of day care clubs which provide a comfortable and homely environment for people living with dementia, so that families can get on with day to day activities or even hold down a job.
As well as these services, we offer a range of events to support those who want access to information on dementia, including events on planning for long term care, and dementia cafes or groups, where relatives and carers can chat and share experiences.
A new programme of events has been set up across the UK in partnership with the social enterprise Dementia Adventure.
The programme includes at 25 events during the coming year, featuring sessions to help carers understand what it might be like to live with dementia, as well as offering practical advice on communication, with a focus on how to connect with someone living with dementia.
Director Neil Mapes, who runs the sessions, explained: “There is a real need to provide easy access to professional support and information, and to ensure there are places people can go where they can share individual experiences. We are looking forward to giving family carers a far more positive understanding of dementia.”