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Remember carers in Dementia Awareness week

This week is Dementia Awareness week and carers of people with dementia, will I hope feature prominently. It is often said that when a diagnosis of dementia is given, it is given to the whole family. Dementia is a complex, unpredictable progressive condition, which affects 850,000 people in the UK. One third of people with dementia are cared for in their own homes by a family member or friend. If, as the Prime Minsters challenge on dementia intends, Britain it to be a leading county in the field of dementia, if we cannot afford to leave out this extremely important group of people.

The Dementia Friends initiative has gained a lot of publicity, and has made a significant impact on breaking down stigma around the condition, but we need so much more. Carers are the backbone of dementia care, yet are not featured nearly enough in national and local dementia campaigns. How can we be a dementia friendly society if the needs of carers are not widely recognised? Carers of people with dementia need more than friends if they are to sustain their own health and caring role – they also need professional support and advice. Carers of people with dementia are known to put their own health needs on hold until it reaches crisis, to give up work, other family commitments and activities they once loved.

Carers need:

  • Flexible access to medical appointments.
  • Support to work and take part in activities.
  • Practical and emotional support
  • Good quality meaningful respite
  • Training in everything from managing unusual behaviour to moving and positioning.

Family carers of people with dementia save the UK £11 billion a year, and people cared for at home live fuller lives and are less likely to use acute services. During Dementia Awareness week give a thought to this selfless group of people who save the country millions and enhance people’s lives.


Louise Marks is Dementia Policy & Development Officer at Carers Trust


 

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May 21, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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