If the person you are caring for has had a diagnosis of dementia:
Dementia is the ‘umbrella term’ for a set of symptoms which usually includes memory loss and may also include difficulties in thinking and concentrating, and sometimes changes in mood and behaviour.
Dementia is caused by various diseases of the brain; Alzheimers is the most common illness, and Vascular Dementia is the second most common – where the dementia is caused by a series of strokes. There are other rarer illnesses, examples of these are Frontal Lobe Dementia (sometimes called Picks Disease) and Dementia with Lewy Bodies.
Diagnosis usually takes place at the Memory Clinic after a series of physical examinations, memory tests and brain scans. At this stage, medication may be prescribed. There is no cure for dementia, but one of the following drugs may be used to help to slow down the progression of the illness; Donepezil (e.g. Aricept), Rivastigmine (e.g. Exelon) or Galantamine (e.g. Reminyl).
Information about Dementia
Alzheimers Society has a very informative website, and you can access all their factsheets this way. www.alzheimers.org.uk/factsheets
Examples from the very extensive list :
- What is Dementia?
- Drug treatments for Alzheimers Disease
- Driving and Dementia
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Explaining Dementia to children
- Selecting a Care Home
- Carers – looking after yourself
If you want information on a particular subject and you do not have access to the internet, the Alzheimers Society would welcome your calls on National Dementia Helpline 0300 222 11 22
Alzheimers Society also has an online discussion forum for people with dementia, carers of people with dementia, partners of people with dementia and carers of younger people (under 65) with dementia.
Local Support for people with dementia and their carers
Sheffield Alzheimers Society
The Dementia Adviser service offers information about all aspects of living with dementia and supports people to access services. People with dementia and their carers can contact a Dementia Adviser whenever they need further information or support to find other services. Advice and Support tel no 2337635, general inquiries 2503920
Alzheimers Society : 110 Burton St, Bamforth Building, Sheffield S6 2HH
The Alzheimers Society also offers regular Dementia Cafes around the city at a City-Centre venue as well as at Jordanthorpe, Beighton, Wincobank and Hillsborough. Carers and people with dementia will be very welcome. For dates and details please phone 2337635.
Also available via this number, details of carers’ support groups and courses for carers.
Other activities available for carers and the people they care for : the very popular walking groups and ‘Singing for the Brain’ groups, please contact 2337635 as above.
Outreach to Younger People with Dementia (under 65) – please phone for details of activities:
Peers groups, Walking, Singing, Art, Cafes, etc.
Carers in Sheffield
Carers in Sheffield provides an information, advice and support helpline Monday – Friday from 9am to 6pm. You would always be welcome to speak to one of our staff on 0114 272 8362. We can speak to you about your cared-for person’s illness and symptoms and we can arrange appointments in our office for face to face appointments if you would like further support.
Other activities available for carers include support groups around the city in Manor, Lowedges, Darnall, Wordsworth Ave, Woodhouse, Stocksbridge and Hillsborough, as well as a Saturday group once a month for working carers. Note that these groups are all mixed groups, because we work with all carers, not just carers of people with dementia, but you would be very welcome at any of our events and would certainly meet other carers in a very similar situation to yourself.
Sheffield Carers Centre also hold a monthly café at the Central United Reformed Church at the bottom right-hand side of Chapel Walk, opposite the Crucible stage entrance. Carers and the people they care for are very welcome at the café.
For details of any of our activities, please contact Jan on 0114 278 8942, or the helpline on 0114 272 8362. Ask to be put on our mailing list for regular up-dates.
The Caring and Coping with Loss in Dementia course
The Memory Clinic in Sheffield runs a structured course for unpaid carers of people with dementia. As well as information about the illness, this course focuses on the impact on the carer; the feelings of loss you might experience, developing coping skills and planning for the future.
This is a free highly recommended course, funded by Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust.
For details contact:
Telephone: 0114 271 6015
Adult Social Care assessment
If you need some help caring for the person with Dementia – perhaps with getting up, washing, dressing, providing meals, taking medication, dealing with incontinence, making sure the person is safely in bed at night – then you may feel that it is time to request an assessment of their care needs. You will need to contact Adult Social Care on 2734908 and they will ask you for the person’s details; date of birth, GP, address, diagnosis, and what they need help with.
This assessment may then lead to a care ‘package’ providing the necessary help, and the person will pay for care according to their means.
NB As a carer you are also entitled to an assessment of your needs, called a ‘Carer’s Assessment’
This assessment enables the Social Worker to see how caring is impacting on you – your health, your family and social life, ability to work, etc., and these things may be taken into account when arranging the care package for the person you care for, and may also lead to a small personal budget for you.
Dementia Day Care
It is possible to arrange some dementia day care privately, but for most people it is arranged, and charged for, as part of their care package. The aim of day care is to provide a change of scenery and an element of stimulation for the person with dementia, but it is also useful to provide some care cover to enable the carer to have a break or work part time.
Below are some examples of day centres you may wish to contact to discuss the possibility and availability of care. In addition, you may find it useful search for Day Centres and Lunch Clubs on the Sheffield Directory. www.sheffielddirectory.org.uk
Hurlfield View Day Care
203 Gleadless Common, Sheffield S12 2UU
Darnall Dementia Group
Age UK Memory Lane in Norfolk Park
Please contact Age UK Sheffield on 0114 250 2850.
Making Space Hubs
These are a new venture, to provide activities for people with early to moderate dementia, allowing some respite breaks for carers. The first Hubs have opened at Hillsborough, Manor, Darnall, Firth Park. For more information contact:
0114 276 9306 or 07805 805475
Other useful Contacts
Norwood Grange Drive
Tel: (0114) 271 6015
Nurse Helpline: (0114) 271 8585 (Monday and Wednesday 9am-11.30am only)
Dementia Rapid Response and Home Treatment Teams (DRRHTT)
This service provides NHS assessment, care and treatment to people with a working diagnosis of dementia and who are experiencing some degree of crisis or difficulty.
Referrals are accepted from the Older Adults Community Mental Health Teams, specialist services within Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, and from GPs.
Tel: (0114) 226 2548 (North Team)
Tel: (0114) 226 2880 (South Team)