Carers of people with dementia
Carers play an absolutely vital role in the care and support of people with dementia – and yet often they have to battle with the health and social care system to be heard. This section sets out some ideas for working in partnership alongside carers, as well as suggestions for how professional care staff can better support carers.
Working in partnership
A carer is a person who supports and cares for a relative or friend who is living with dementia. Many people do not recognise themselves as 'carers', even though they are making adjustments to their own life and taking on extra responsibilities to better support their loved one or friend. A carer's own circumstances, their health, employment, relationships, will have an impact on and be affected by taking on the caring role. Being a carer is not a fixed role, changing over time and the course of the illness.
Family and friends play a vital role in the life of a person living with dementia. The period leading up to and around a diagnosis of dementia is often a very difficult time for family and friends. Support for carers around the time of diagnosis is vital: whether this is through information leaflets, a support group or through linking up with other carers online. Becoming a carer typically involves taking on new roles, tasks and responsibilities and may involve a change in the relationship with the person with dementia.