Caring For Someone With Dementia
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 there are drugs may be used to help to slow down the progression of the illness.
Information about Dementia
BBC Radio Sheffield have made a recent series of podcasts about living with Dementia – made from different perspectives, including those of carers. These episodes (mostly around 30 minutes long) are available on BBC Sounds app or the BBC website here
Alzheimer’s 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
Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia is a scheme that recommends books you might find helpful if you have dementia or are caring for someone with dementia. The books are available to borrow from the local library. Your GP or another health professional might also recommend some book titles.
If you want information on a particular subject and you do not have access to the internet, the Alzheimer’s Society would welcome your calls on National Dementia Helpline 0300 222 11 22
Alzheimer’s 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.
NHS Choices also has a lot of useful information which you may want to use. You can find that here: https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/dementia-guide/Pages/about-dementia.aspx
Local Support For People with Dementia and their Carers
Parson Cross Forum
3 memory cafes are being run per week by the Parson Cross Community Development Forum, along with a late stage dementia project called JABADAO.
The Memory Cafes – ‘Forget Me Not’ and ‘Unforgettable Me’ – run on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays (9.30-11.30am) and are for adults with early stage dementia and their relatives. The Cafes begin with breakfast and then move into one of a range of activities and take place at the Parson Cross Community Development Forum, 56 Margetson Crescent, Parson Cross, Sheffield, S5 9NB. You can contact the organiser Louise Askew by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or 0114 327 9727. SMALL CHANGE for breakfast; activity is FREE.
JABADAO is a fun, friendly group for people with dementia (middle and late stage) and accompanying carers. The group is for people no matter how frail or boisterous the person attending is and the activities will use beatuiful props and music that enables everyone to join in. Mondays, 1-2pm at the Parson Cross Community Development Forum, 56 Margetson Crescent, Parson Cross, Sheffield, S5 9NB. FREE.
Sheffield Alzheimer’s 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.
Alzheimer’s Society can be found at 110 Burton St, Bamforth Building, Sheffield S6 2HH
The Alzheimer’s Society 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 233 7635.
Also available via this number are details of carers’ support groups and courses for carers.
Other activities available for carers and the people they care for include the very popular walking groups and ‘Singing for the Brain’ groups, please contact 233 7635 for more details.
The Alzheimer’s Society also provides support to Younger People with Dementia (under 65) – please phone for details of activities.
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
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
Darnall Dementia Group
St Albans Church
20 Chaplewood Road,
The Wellbeing Centre
Centre in the Park,
off Guilford Avenue,
Tel: (0114) 250 2850.
Other Useful Contacts
Norwood Grange Drive
Sheffield S5 7JT
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)
Revised 03 January 2018