Dementia doesn't simply affect the person who has it. It profoundly changes the lives of those family members and friends who are close to that person.
As a carer it is important to remember that you are an individual with needs and interests of your own. Caregiving can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Acknowledge the need to look after yourself. Request all the help you can from family, friends, neighbours, health professionals and relief services.
Help can be obtained by:
- involving family and friends
- using relief services
- Carer Education Courses.Your local Alzheimers organisation can provide services and education programmes in your area. Click here to get in touch with your local Alzheimers organisation.
Some people find it helpful to enrol in a course for carers or join a local support group. For many involved in caregiving, a support group is a great help. These groups can help maintain your well-being and support you in your changing role as a carer. All local Alzheimers organisations service offer carer support.
There are many care alternatives when caring for somebody with dementia at home. Daycare, for instance, can be the first step when looking for alternative care. This provides motivation and socialisation for the person with dementia while providing respite for the carer. Attending a daycare centre may give you the confidence that others can help you provide the necessary care. It may also prepare the person for their transition to residential care should the need arise in the future.
Respite care is important for the carer to get regular breaks from caring. Many care facilities offer respite care. Your local Alzheimers organisation will have information on daycare and respite care facilities in your area.
More information can be found in The Dementia Booklet or in the following Information Sheets:
Books that may be of interest
dementia – a New Zealand guide by Dr Chris Perkins, Random House, New Zealand 2006.
This book is available to for loan from the Alzheimers New Zealand national office library.
Articles that may be of interests
The more you know and the more you talk about it, the less dementia will scare children - This article has helpful tips on introducing and explaining dementia to children as well as ways of coping with children’s fears.
Call for better understanding of dementia care
Posted 24 April 2013
Scam Alert from "newyearsupport"
Posted 25 February 2013
Posted 18 February 2013
National Dementia Awareness Campaign
Posted 04 February 2013
Younger Onset Dementia Forum
Posted 14 January 2013
Congratulations Alzheimers Rotorua
Posted 11 October 2012
Alzheimers New Zealand launches national awareness campaign
Posted 04 September 2012
Dementia made a national health priority in Australia
Posted 15 August 2012