Your local Alzheimers organisation provides a range of services to support and guide people and their families following a diagnosis of any form of dementia. Your GP can also advise you about services in your local community.
Services in your community might include:
- information, education, support and advocacy services offered through your local Alzheimers organisation
- support through your Needs Assessment and Service Coordination Service (NASC), such as:
- assistance with household tasks
- assistance with personal care needs, such as showering, dressing or supervising your medication
- day programmes
- carer relief
- respite services
- residential care
- support with ready-made meals
- subsidised taxi chits to help with transport costs.
The GP who is looking after your family/whānau member should give you advice and support, explain things so you can understand them and answer your questions.
Although it’s your family/whānau member who has been diagnosed with dementia, you will very likely be present at their doctors’ visits and will need to understand what is happening to them.
Some useful hints to use when seeing the doctor:
- Make an appointment at a time of the day when you both feel your best.
- Make a list of questions before you go – it’s a confusing time and there’s a lot of information to take in.
- Keep a folder about conversations you have had and any brochures or information sheets you have collected – even ask the doctor to write things down.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and/or your family/whānau member who has dementia.
- If you don’t understand what is being said, ask to have it explained in a different way.