Getting help with caring for someone with dementia

It's important to look after yourself, as well as the person you are caring for. Caring for someone with dementia can be an intensive, challenging, rewarding and at times a stressful experience. Carers of people with dementia often describe the joys as well as the tribulations of caring for a relative or friend with dementia. Whilst grieving for the losses that dementia inevitably brings, carers also often find a strong appreciation of the person and of the familiar activities, memories and social life that they are still able to enjoy together.

However, caring for someone with dementia is even more complex and demanding than caring for someone with physical disabilities. One study found that compared to non-caregivers, carers for people with dementia visited their GPs 50% more and took up to 86% more prescribed medications.

Carers face very different caring challenges at each stage of the illness. Adjusting to the diagnosis and coping with the changes the illness will bring, can cause a great deal of stress, but if you are well prepared and know what you may need to provide in the way of care it can help a great deal. Having a good network of family and friends who know how they can help you is also very important.

Carer - testimonal

It is very hard to accept advice about how to look after myself - even though I know it is important, it is often impossible to see a way to make any changes.


Getting help with caring for someone with dementia

Each person is different and each caring situation is unique. Asking for help and finding out what suits you and the person you care for can be  difficult, but there are many ways that can make life easier for both you and the person you care for. Our information leaflet explores various sources you can get help from.

Looking after yourself

In addition, the National Dementia Carers Action Network (NDCAN) produced a series of booklets offering words of encouragement, tools and tips, with a particular focus on ‘looking after yourself’.  They are not professional advice guides. Rather, they are the things that have worked for NDCAN’s carers and other carers across Scotland.

If there is any information you need regarding dementia and your caring role please contact our Freephone 24 hour Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 3000 for advice, information and support.