If a family member needs help with dementia care, or you suspect that they might have symptoms of dementia and need to understand differences between Alzheimer’s dementia or other types of dementia symptoms, there are a number of services available to support you:

• Getting diagnosed: getting a proper diagnosis taking into account symptoms of dementia is vital and means getting the correct treatment and care plan for different types of dementia, commonly Alzheimer’s dementia, Vascular dementia, Parkinson’s dementia and mixed dementia. It also helps with making plans for the future and getting access to all of the available information and support.

The first step is getting a diagnosis from a GP who will usually refer people to a specialist memory service, like the Camden Community Memory Service. This is made up of dementia specialists, including psychiatric consultants, clinical psychologists and nurses. A visit from a specialist nurse or consultant in a patient’s home (with a family member or carer) usually follows where they will be able to assess their thinking and memory.

If dementia is diagnosed the patient will be given information about the condition and about the range of local services that can help to meet their needs.

• Adult social care support: An assessment from the social workers team the level of help that you are eligible to receive from adult social care. During the assessment they will consider:
– The tasks that someone can manage by themselves
– Requests for respite care for dementia patients through identifying the support network that surrounds a person: family, friends, neighbours and community based support

• Privately arranged support services: if someone is deemed ineligible for support or they choose to arrange their own help, some of the options include:
– Arranging help through friends, relatives and neighbours
– Employing a care worker privately through a home care agency to achieve respite for unpaid carers
– Employing someone directly, such as a personal assistant
– Charity providers such as Age UK and the Alzheimer’s Society can offer additional advice and support about some of these options, including getting dementia respite care