Caring for Someone with Dementia
In the UK alone, 850,000 people have dementia. This creates a chain reaction affecting those around them, as two-thirds of dementia sufferers live at home, cared for by unpaid carers. “…in sickness and in health” is certainly called upon, as spouses are often those who take up the position of care. A feeling that we all share is that we would do anything for the people we love, but often this forgoes those care-givers looking after themselves, as their needs come second.
Living with someone who has dementia, especially if that person is the sole carer, is rewarding, but it is also challenging. Frustration and depression are normal feelings. Below are personal symptoms to look out for if you or someone you love is caring for someone with dementia.
What can be the impact of dementia on family and carers?
Carers who are the sole-provider of help for a person with dementia tend to experience:
Depending on the stage of the dementia, the demands of care fluctuate. In the later stages, assistance going to the bathroom as well as guidance eating and drinking is needed, requiring more time. From the first diagnosis, often full-time care needs to be facilitated. On top of looking after themselves, the home and managing all outgoings and financial undertakings, caring for someone with dementia can be a huge responsibility that adds pressure to already busy lives.
It’s easy for care to become overwhelming, and we want to help educate carers that there is support available. No one should feel guilty about sourcing help for themselves, we all need help from time-to-time. The Corfe Mullen Dementia Friends Steering Committee support a group for dementia carers every month in Corfe Mullen, Dorset. Visit the Facebook page to learn more about how our Carers Support Group.
- Low mood or depression
Caring for someone with dementia can be both physically and mentally draining. This alone can lead to mood swings and feeling ‘low’, but so can watching the person you care for so much change in front of you. This can create a feeling of loss, and caregivers can find themselves grieving over the loss of the person they once knew, the relationship they used to have and a complete change in their daily dynamic. It’s important to look out for signs of depression, and recognising when you or someone you care about needs to talk to someone.
- Diminishing health
It’s important for care-giving spouses or partners to make sure that they make time if they have any pressing health concerns. Carers often experience back problems if they help the mobility of the person they are caring for, and they can experience serious conditions such as high blood pressure. Appointments can be cancelled in lieu of looking after the person with dementia, putting themselves second. If you find this happening or notice someone neglecting their health, know that there is extra support available.
In our experience, spouses and partners find that breaks each week provide welcomed, beneficial me-time for them. We offer support to events for those with dementia only, allowing their carer a break.
All of our Dorset events run all year round, which include dementia support groups. We support these to offer both the dementia carer support and their loved one with the illness. We support dementia support groups in Ferndown, Corfe Mullen and Wimborne. Follow each page for information about the weekly, bi-weekly and monthly events we run. They are an opportunity for carers and their loved ones to come together and enjoy some leisure time, which they may not otherwise have time for.
Dementia Friends is the Douch Family Funeral Directors’ charity of the year. This charity strives to educate people about the illness, changing the commonplace perceptions that many people have. We will fundraise throughout 2019 and then split the amount raised amongst the 8 groups we support by each branch.
During 2019 Dementia Action Week (20th – 26th May), we will be running 3 separate seminars on ‘Living with Dementia’. The seminars are open to all and are FREE to attend. Details of the ‘Living with Dementia’ seminars can be found by clicking on the links below:
Wednesday 22nd May – Parkstone Living with Dementia Seminar
Wednesday 22nd May – Blandford Living with Dementia Seminar
Thursday 23rd May – Corfe Mullen Living with Dementia Seminar
If you could like to learn more about Douch Family Funeral Directors, or if you have any questions about the dementia support groups, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly team on 0800 032 9770 or use our contact form.