Working in partnership
Working alongside and supporting carers can mean many things: carers may need help to take up caring, to balance their caring with the rest of their life so that they can continue caring, or to give up full-time caring responsibilities.ß
Becoming a carer
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.
Working alongside carers
Support for carers includes helping them to continue, share the support with others or accept long-term care elsewhere for their loved one. Inflexibility in care services can be frustrating for carers, so organisations should work hard to try to overcome this. Carers' organisations offer a wide range of support to carers, and some carers' groups are specifically aimed at carers of people with dementia. Carers can access a range of support to help them in their caring role.
All SCIE resources are free to download, however to access the following download you will need a free MySCIE account:
- What the research says: Working in partnership with carers
Useful links Open
A road less rocky: supporting carers of people with dementia
This 2013 report from the Carers Trust maps the key stress points in the caring journey for carers of people with dementia, based on a major survey, interviews and focus groups.
The Alzheimer’s Society produces a range of resources aimed at carers, including the 2017 publication The dementia guide (available online and in hard copy), as well as over 80 factsheets including Carers: looking after yourself (523) and How health and social care professionals can help (454).
Dementia: workers and carers together
This guide is aimed at social care workers and sets out best practice advice on how to support carers of people with dementia. It was developed jointly by Skills for Care and Dementia UK in 2012.
This website contains stories from 31 carers of people with dementia, some presented in videos, some in audio recordings. The stories cover a wide range of areas, including recognising the early signs of dementia, getting the diagnosis and becoming a carer.
Triangle of Care
The Carers Trust and The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have produced this guide for care services on involving family carers in the care of people with dementia.