Dementia diagnosis.... much needed help is at hand

Melissa with some of the care givers
Melissa with some of the care givers

Being given the diagnosis of dementia can seem devastating for the person and their loved ones. However there is help available and although families do rally round, there is also a great deal of benefit from in-home, non-medical help and support.  Using Home Instead Care Givers, to supplement the family can lead to improved health and play a significant role in decreasing the stress caused by looking after your loved one and improve their confidence and sense of well being.

In fact, research conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network has shown that older people who have some form of in-home services have fewer doctors' visits and fewer hospitalisations.

Who can benefit most from this new programme?

One of the most important things is for members of the family to know they're not alone. Given the prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer's in particular amongst older people, many families find themselves in the situation of trying to balance work and family life whilst also caring for an ageing parent or other relative; finding out that there are many other people in the same situation is often comforting and very supportive.

The new Dementia Family Programme, provides the opportunity for individuals who care for a loved one to take time out, in a relaxed and friendly environment with others in a similar situation, to learn some facts but more importantly some basic tools and techniques for making the best of time with their loved one. Some very simple strategies can make all the difference.

If you would like to know more, phone Melissa on 01925 230006 and book a place on the next free course. Courses are usually two hours long but we can be flexible depending on people’s circumstances.

Do you know this lady? Is it you?

A typical Alzheimer's carer is a woman between 50 and 64 years of age who works full or part time, she will often have grandchildren as well, so can have two sets of caring responsibilities.

Most Alzheimer's carers (94%) are helping relatives. The most common relationship is between a parent or parent-in-law and child (62 %).

The demanding level of care required by someone with dementia takes its toll on a family carer. The prolonged and progressive nature of dementia and the way memory loss and other symptoms can cause an individual to need constant assistance and supervision, places enormous physical, emotional and psychological strain on the carer.

Family and other unpaid carers of people with dementia are more likely than others in the community to report that their health is fair or poor. They are also more likely to say that caring responsibilities made their health worse.

Reports of high or very high emotional stress come from 40 % of carers of people with dementias, compared to 28% of those caring for other older people.

An estimated 60% of family members caring for a relative with dementia work full or part time. Reports show that two-thirds of working carers have missed work because of caring responsibilities.

More than 60% of families caring for someone with dementia rate the emotional stress of caring as high or very high; one-third report symptoms of depression.

If any of these facts strike a cord with you and you would like to do something about it, please do contact us, help is at hand in terms of personalised support for the person with dementia and practical help and support for the carer and much needed peace of mind.

Sources: Alzheimer's Disease International World Alzheimer's Report (2011)

"2011 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures.

A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home