Support for carers of those living with dementia
Posted on September 20, 2021
Many people living with dementia can continue to live well for many years after their diagnosis and their carers play a significant role in this.
Dementia Action Week (which aims to raise awareness of dementia) is recognising this important role through its theme for 2021 – ‘a little support makes a big difference’.
Juniper support workers and aged care workers provide care to people living with dementia at both our residential aged care homes and through our home and community services.
Our home and community support care workers often see firsthand how the care and dedication of carers makes a difference to the lives of people living with dementia.
They know the significant role that carers play and also see how vital it is that these people are supported.
Here are some tips for supporting carers and how carers can seek support.
How to support carers:
- Stay in touch – Carers can become isolated due to their commitment to caring. It may sound simple but by keeping in touch with them, checking in and lending an ear, we can be part of their support network. Dementia Australia suggests listening without offering advice or judgement. The organisation has also created digital cards for people to send to their friends and family members who are carers for people living with dementia.
- Encourage and assist – It can often be difficult for carers to prioritise their own health, a nice gesture could be cooking them a healthy meal, asking them to exercise with you or offering to help them out with a task you know they need to get done.
- Get the facts – Understanding what dementia is and learning about the misconceptions around it helps to lead the discussion and reduce discrimination around dementia.
Support for carers:
- Seek assistance if needed – the National Dementia Helpline not only supports those living with dementia but is also there to support their carers. The wellbeing and mental health of carers is just as important as that of those they are caring for.
- Know where to go to find information – Dementia Australia also has a number of online resources designed to assist both carers and people living with dementia. The information can help carers navigate different stages and situations such as planning for the future, Choosing an LGBTI friendly service provider, and dealing with younger onset dementia.
Dementia Action Week runs from September 20 – 26 2021.