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Caring for someone with dementia.

Caring for someone with dementia.
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Caring for someone with dementia

Caring for someone with dementia is a big responsibility. It can be very rewarding, but it can be physically and emotionally challenging as well. It may affect your lifestyle and life choices. You will also need a lot of patience, compassion and understanding every day.

As a carer of a person with dementia, you will want to do everything you can to support and reassure the person you care for, while helping them to be as independent as possible.

Planning ahead can help minimise the stress on you and your family. It can help you know what might be coming, so you can have strategies in place to deal with particular situations.

Your planning might include organising regular respite care so you can have a break from your caring role, because it is important to look after your own needs as well.

It might also include working out what will happen to the person you care for if you are no longer able to continue in your caring role.

Are you a carer or helping someone out?

Carers are everyday people who provide unpaid and ongoing care and support to someone they know who has a disability, mental illness, drug or alcohol dependency, a chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail.

Support for carers

Find practical information and useful resources for carers on Carer Gateway. You can also learn more about carers' support and services in your state or territory through Carers Australia.

Talking about your situation and feelings with health professionals and other carers may help you to cope better. Some organisations run support groups where carers can meet and share their stories.

Everyone’s dementia journey is different, but there is information and support available to help make that journey easier.

Help for dementia carers - expert advice

It is important that carers have access to a range of support such as financial, emotional and physical assistance. Watch the video below about the importance of help for dementia carers.


Read the related video transcript

Last reviewed: November 2016

Recommended links

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Carer Life Course - Dementia resources

Provides information on dementia and memory loss and on services that exist for carers and sufferers including counselling, social and therapeutic activities and support groups

Read more on Carers NSW website

Alzheimer's Australia | How is dementia treated?

Information about some of the drug treatments currently used in the treatment of dementia. Drug treatments and dementia This page discusses broadly some of the drug treatments currently being used in the treatment of dementia. This includes new drugs which may have a temporary effect in improving mental functioning and drugs used to treat accompanying symptoms such as depression and anxiety.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | Research links

A selection of websites containing further information about dementia research and related topics. Information about clinical trials Many research projects and clinical trials depend on the involvement of people with dementia and their carers. Information about participating in the research process, and links to Australian and international clinical trials websites.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | For carers, family members, friends and communities

The pages in this section provide information, ideas for you to consider and suggest types of support that Alzheimers Australia can offer you. Activities for people with dementia Advance care planning

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | Carer support groups

These support groups allow carers to: Receive support and meet others in a similar situation Receive relevant dementia education and information Enjoy the benefits of a social outing Share ideas, management tips and techniques with other carers Learn about local community services for people with dementia and their carers Learn how to cope with issues such as loss and grief, guilt, resentment, anger, relief and other emotions which may arise

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Dementia: behavioural and psychological symptoms - myDr.com.au

Along with loss of memory and intellectual function, dementia can cause symptoms such as changes in behaviour and mood.

Read more on myDr website

Alzheimer's Australia | Dementia and chronic conditions series toolkit

There is increasing evidence that a number of different chronic conditions are associated with the development of cognitive impairment and dementia. The Dementia and Chronic Conditions Series Toolkits are designed to improve support for people living with cognitive impairment or dementia and other chronic conditions. These resources will assist people working in the community, partners, families and carers to provide better support to the person in areas such as diagnosis of dementia and on-going management of their health.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Carers NSW - Other events

ARTFUL, run by the Museum of Contemporary Art, is a free program for people living with dementia and their carers, which focuses on creating new connections and providing life enriching experiences through creative engagement with contemporary art.

Read more on Carers NSW website

Alzheimer's Australia | National Younger Onset Dementia Key Worker Program

The National Younger Onset Dementia Keyworker Program: Provides individualised services and support for people living with younger onset dementia, their families and carers. Raises awareness of younger onset dementia through the provision of education to WA health networks and local community. Builds capacity to meet the needs of younger onset dementia within the disability, aged care, community and residential care sectors through consultation, networking and collaboration with service providers and consumers.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | National Dementia Helpline

Questions about dementia? The National Dementia Helpline is available 9.00am to 5.00pm across Australia, Monday to Friday excluding national public holidays. Call the National Dementia Helpline now on 1800 100 500. A message bank service is provided for after-hours enquiries, which will be responded to the next working day.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

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