For families, friends and carers
We understand that a dementia diagnosis will affect more than just one individual. Seeing a loved one change can be a difficult and heart-breaking experience, and often the process of needing or delivering care can change family relationships significantly.
Learn tips for dealing with a dementia diagnosis with our free video guide, One step at a time.
Choosing a care home with a loved one living with dementia can be a difficult decision for the whole family. We believe in supporting each resident and their family during their dementia care journey in any way we can.
After a resident moves in, loved ones are welcome to visit any time of the day or night. Our home teams are here for emotional or practical support, and – with the appropriate consent – will always involve and consult families in the planning and delivery of care and support.
Our dementia help and advice area is filled with tips from dementia experts within Care UK, including our free guides, One step at a time and Let’s talk about dementia, which answer common questions about this often-misunderstood condition.
Caring for someone living with dementia can be very demanding and have a significant impact on family and friends. From coping with feelings of guilt to grappling with a loved one not recognising you, it’s important that you look after yourself and find support where you can.
Remember that you’re not alone. Many Care UK care homes host dementia cafés that families and friends can attend to talk about their experiences and learn from others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia at home, there are many organisations that provide practical day-to-day advice, information about the progression of dementia or simply a listening ear.
Our One step at a time guide is a good place to start, but we've listed further resources at the bottom of this page where you can find more information on taking care of a loved one with dementia, as well as looking after yourself. We've rounded up five ways you can start taking care of yourself now.
To help care for someone living with dementia, it's important to treat them as an individual. At Care UK, we get to know each resident's interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes – we call it person-centred care.
When we know residents well, we can provide meaningful activities that link to their favourite pastimes and fond memories, which can help them to stay happy and engaged.
We also train colleagues in Namaste care, a type of one-to-one or group care that uses sensory elements like gentle massages, music therapy and calming scents to help people living with advanced dementia to relax and feel pampered.
Read more about how to care for someone with dementia.
Dementia can make it more difficult to communicate with your loved one. Experts at Care UK have put together some helpful tips to ensure you can continue to have meaningful conversations and effective communication.
Simple dos and don'ts for communicating with someone living with dementia
Our survey of relatives found that 71% regretting not knowing more about how their loved one’s dementia could change their behaviours. It’s true that you can expect a number of changes in behaviour following a dementia diagnosis, but behaviours that challenge are not natural or normal symptoms of dementia. They arise when the individual’s needs go unmet.
By understanding more about dementia, you can take steps to meet your loved one’s needs and keep them calm and happy.
Right from the start, we work in partnership with families to get to know each individual and understand their personal history. This begins with the option to develop a life story book even before a resident is admitted and continues with our monthly Resident of the Day programme, in which families and friends are invited to an in-depth review of care plans covering everything from medication to lifestyle and food choices.
Every resident is unique – so why should their care plan be any different? We pride ourselves in the high-quality tailored care we provide.
There are a number of care options available for those living with dementia, from care-at-home all the way to permanent residential dementia care or nursing dementia care for those with more advanced needs.
If you’re wondering whether long-term care is right for you or a loved one, head to our Do I need care page to learn more.
If you are finding it difficult to communicate, first try to be open about what you’re struggling with – like people’s names or losing your train of thought – so that loved ones can be aware of how to help. You might find it helpful to tell others not to remind you that you’ve repeated yourself.
Avoid situations with background noise, like a radio or television, and don’t be afraid to ask people to speak more slowly or repeat themselves.
Whether you are searching for care and support for yourself or a loved one, there is plenty of advice available for those looking for support.
Read our free guides for expert advice, or visit the websites below for further reading, forums and hotlines to help following a dementia diagnosis.
|Department of Health||The official website of the Department of Health providing information on latest policies, and development regarding all aspects of health and social care.||www.doh.gov.uk|
|Care Quality Commission||The CQC is the health and social care regulator for England. You can use this to find the most recent inspection reports for providers of healthcare.||www.cqc.org.uk|
|Scottish Care Inspectorate||The Care Inspectorate regulates and inspects care services in Scotland to make sure they meet the right standards.||careinspectorate.com|
|National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE)||NICE provides guidance on current best clinical practice||www.nice.org.uk|
|UK Online||UK Online provides government information and services||gov.uk|
|Government Carer Information||Government information specifically for carers.||nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide|
|Age UK||Age UK has been helping older people across the UK for more than 60 years.||ageuk.org.uk|
|Alzheimer's Society||For support, information, advice and local services for those looking after someone with dementia.||alzheimers.org.uk|
|Careaware||A public information and advisory service specialising in the issues relating to long term care.||careawareias.co.uk|
|Care Directions||The internet's unique guide to care and the rights of older people. Register for a free, regular e-newsletter.||bequests.co.uk/caredirections|
|Care Info||The website for the long term care sector.||careinfo.org|
|Centre for Policy on Ageing||An independent organisation promoting social policies that allow older people to achieve the full potential of their later years.||cpa.org.uk|
|Action on Elder Abuse||Action on Elder Abuse aims to prevent the abuse of older people||wearehourglass.org|
|Guide to Care||Guide to Care is a resource for carers of elderly people.||guide2care.com|
|Carers UK||Offers advice on benefits and services available to carers.||carersuk.org|
|The Care Workers Charity||Supports the basic welfare of current, former, and retired care workers by awarding hardship grants.||thecareworkerscharity.org.uk|
|SOLLA||SOLLA helps people and their families in finding trusted accredited financial advisers who understand financial needs in later life. A well-qualified financial adviser who is also somebody who understands the plans you need to make for your retirement years.||societyoflaterlifeadvisers.co.uk|
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