Where possible, the best option for a person with dementia is often to continue living at home. Some of the support that is available to help them includes:
– After assessment a prescription is taken to the local pharmacist with details of the equipment needed and either collected or delivery arranged.
– Social services cover the cost of the assessment and the equipment they deem necessary in each case
– If a patient would like additional features, different colours or other variations they will need to cover the extra cost.
– If someone wants to buy equipment themselves, without an assessment, help can be found through the Disabled Living Foundation, who have information about national stockists or mail order retailers.
• Care packages: Care packages vary from support from friends or relatives through to a fully employed personal assistant. Local charities can helping in identifying appropriate PA’s. Another alternative would be to employ a care worker privately through a home care agency.
• Taking medication: many people forget to take prescribed medication, or take it in the wrong way, which can put their health at risk.
– If a person has daily visits, their carers can ensure they always take the right medication at the right time. They can also keep written records and help collect prescriptions from their doctors or chemists.
– The local chemist can transfer prescriptions into a dosette box which is marked with the days of the week and the times at which medication should be taken.
– Ticking off each dose on a simple diary or planner is another good way to remember what has been taken
If you are still unsure and need support in taking medication, applying creams, drops or lotions you should contact your GP, District Nurse or local chemist for advice.
There are a number of options available to support unpaid carers and allow them some ‘time off’ as follows:
Types of care package
•Local Authority Funded Care package: If you do not qualify for 100 percent fully funded NHS care package, you are entitled to claim a contribution to the cost of the care from your local authority when you reach the protected capital threshold of £23,250. To qualify you need to attend to a screening assessment, detailed needs assessment (20 pages usually), financial assessment (with copies of relevant financial documentation). You may need to agree to top up the care package with your own finances. The person will be required to contribute some or all of pension income to the care package.
If a family member has dementia, or you suspect that they might have, and you are struggling to cope; there are a number of services available to support you:
• Getting diagnosed: getting a proper diagnosis of dementia is vital as it helps to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms and means getting the correct treatment. It also helps in making plans for the future caring for someone with dementia and getting access to all of the available information and support. The first step is commonly getting a diagnosis from a GP who will usually refer people to a specialist 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
– 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
– Employing someone directly, such as a personal assistant
– Charity providers such as Age UK and the Alzheimer’s Society do vary in their remit for additional advice and support about some of these options
– With supervision of family, if you have a spare room you may wish to engage a housekeeper
– It is common to need a power of attorney (or equivalent Deputyship Order) granted by the person with dementia to you in order to legally manage the property, financial capital and income of the person with dementia
There are a number of options to get the extra support for people who choose to live independently
• Extra care Housing: This can provide dementia sufferers with self-contained flats designed to meet their needs. These facilities often include shared services a scheme manager and fully trained care staff on site or on call; with 24 hours a day to provide extra care and support. This will helps to retain independence and negates the need for residential care or hospital care. An assessment from social services will determine if this is a viable option or if there is any support available with the cost.
•Sheltered Housing: this community-style living arrangement gives dementia suffers access to 24 hour support and activities and support from other people. An assessment must be completed to see if someone reaches the criteria for sheltered accommodation.