Creating a space to talk about dementia
When you’re caring for someone else, it’s easy to overlook your own needs. However looking after your health and making time for yourself can help you feel better and in turn, cope better with your caring role.
The Liferaft team are passionate about getting people talking about dementia – to understand what it is and what it isn’t – and encouraging them to see the person behind the disease. It is important to build on what people with dementia can still do and the contributions they can still make.
We are building a community where anyone who cares for a loved one can chat and exchange useful tips and information. We recognise that caring for someone with dementia may lead to feelings of guilt, sadness, confusion or anger.
Unlike with other conditions, it can be difficult to communicate and share these feelings with someone with dementia, which can leave you feeling very isolated.
It’s important to acknowledge these feelings, and remember that there’s no right or wrong way to feel. Liferaft (www.myliferaft.com) has been developed with people like YOU in mind.
There are numerous online and real world communities that can be of use to people with an interest in dementia (www.myliferaft.com/more/resources/#alzheimers-dementia) or for a family member who might not be sure where to go, what to look for, or who to ask when they have any important questions.
In the first in our series of posts about promoting World Dementia Month – we aim to point people in the right direction, and give some of the many wonderful groups a ‘shout-out’.
Carers’ groups can be a good way to get support from other carers who understand what you’re going through and can share their own experiences. Most groups meet regularly and may offer speakers, leisure activities, trips and simply time to sit and chat. Ask your dementia adviser or social services about local groups or contact the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia UK or Carers UK for details.
Online groups can also be a great source of support, especially if you can’t get out and about or if you need someone to talk to when no-one else is around. Try the Talking Point forums on the Alzheimer’s Society website or the message boards on the Carers UK website.
Memory cafes also offer information and support in an informal setting where people with dementia and their carers can attend together. There are often professional carers available to talk to in confidence. To find out about local memory cafes, ask your dementia adviser or local Alzheimer’s Society group.
Some carers feel mixed emotions about day centres, but a variation in routine can benefit you both and allow you to have some time to yourself. There are some specialist dementia day care centres, while others may cater for people with mild dementia.
Find out more from our Resources page, about Alzheimers and Dementia:
Other useful links: