Caring For Someone Living With Dementia At Home

Posted on January 07, 2019.

Caring for a loved one with dementia at home can be challenging, emotional and stressful at times and at other times heart-warming and rewarding. If you are caring for someone with dementia, it’s important to know you are not alone and there is help and support available. Let’s look at the different types of support available to carers of people living with dementia at home.

Advice and counselling

The National Dementia Helpline is a great place to start for advice, information and even emotional support. Operated by Dementia Australia, this is a free confidential service that operates 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

This service can provide information about dementia and memory loss, government support services, services available in your area such as carer support groups and advice to help you manage the emotional impact of dementia in your life.

You can access this service by phone on 1800 100 500 or by email at helpline.nat@dementia.org.au

Resources

Organisations like Dementia Australia have a wide range of resources available to carers, many of them available on their website. Check out their library and information service with a vast online catalogue and browse their resources website page for videos, facts, guides, toolkits, help sheets, translated documents and other useful tools. Support for Carers – a practical guide to services for families and friends of people with dementia is a very useful free publication found on this website.

Other useful sources of information are My Aged Care, Carers Australia, and Alzheimer's Association.

Professional help at home

If you need extra help at home to assist with the care of your loved one, consider applying for a home care package. An experienced carer can come to your home and help with your loved one’s care needs, household tasks, personal care, outings or simply a social visit so you can take a break or spend time doing more of the things you enjoy doing with your loved one.

Some home care providers even have carers specifically trained in dementia care. Home care packages are subsidised by the government and require an assessment by a member of the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to determine eligibility and this can be organised by your GP.

As there can be a waiting period while your home care package is approved, some operators like Juniper provide customised interim home care services while you wait.

While there is a cost associated with this type of interim service, it is a handy option if you need help at home urgently and with Juniper you can easily switch over to your subsidised home care package once approved.

Look after yourself as well


When caring for someone else, it’s easy to forget about your own health and wellbeing but it’s very important to look after your own needs too.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay on top of your sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of physical and mental health issues.

It can also impact negatively on your concentration, mood and decision making skills. Manage your stress levels and don’t hesitate to lean on the support services mentioned earlier such as support groups where you can share stories and get to know others in similar situations.

Explore respite services that are available in your area so you can take a break when you need to. Keep your friendships networks alive and take time to do some of the things you love.

There are different types of respite care you can access such as in-home respite, residential respite care, centre-based respite or community access respite.

Costs can vary so visit the CarerGateway website for information on the variety of respite care available and how to access it.

For more information on Juniper’s home care services including the interim service called CareStart, visit www.juniper.org.au or call 1800 313 00. Our friendly and experienced team members are happy to talk to you about your home care needs.