/Knowledge Base

Knowledge Base

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This section of the website is continually being updated and has been designed to help you discover the options available to you. Please call Reeta or one of the team on 0800 0238 422 if you would like more information on these topics, or you have suggestions for other information that you think should be included here.

We would love to hear from you.
Reeta (your Family Representative) and the Dementia Partners’ team.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is the gradual loss of mental abilities such as thinking, reasoning and remembering. It is a progressive syndrome with numerous complex, unpredictable and intense symptoms such as, confusion, variable mood, distress, resistive behaviour and wandering. Without support and care it can place the person at high risk of harm and self-neglect. Other problems include:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Slow Thinking
  • Confusion
  • Language
  • Empathy
  • Decision Making

What is a Dementia Partner?

Dementia affects people in different ways. It can be very frightening for someone when they notice changes in their ability to look after themselves and it can be both a difficult and sensitive issue to request help for. It can often be confusing to know how and who to see for help.

It can be equally difficult for a person’s family and friends to understand how they may help and support their friend or family member who has dementia. This is how our role of Family Representatives evolved.

Legal and Financial Help.

Dementia patients in the advanced stages of the condition may need need help with making legal and financial decisions as their mental capacity deteriorates.

Read more here…

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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:

Equipment to support in the home: a visit to an assessment centres or a visit from an occupational therapist will help to determine the support needed and any equipment that is available. For example, there is a range of equipment to support people with: bathing, washing and dressing.

– 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:

Replacement care: this replaces the care that a carer would normally provide. This can be arranged by requesting a ‘break assessment’ alongside the person being cared for being assessed
Respite care: after a ‘carers assessment’ the local authority may decide to place the person being cared for in a care home or nursing home for a short period. This may also be a result of a community care assessment, but must be requested as an option for consideration.
• Breaks for carers: government funding for breaks is designed to offer carers more than simply time off caring, and often constitute of a short holiday. The breaks are tailored to the choices and needs of each carer, including their health, work, leisure, learning and other commitments.
• Using direct payments for time off: Local authorities should offer you the option of a direct payment for carers so they can choose what they do with their time off. For example: hire a care worker through an agency so they can go on a shopping trip, or use the direct payment to pay for a supported holiday for both them and the person they care for. The Short Breaks Network can provide more information on this.

Types of care package

Fully Funded NHS Continuing Care package: There are time limits to apply for Fully Funded NHS Continuing Care package. It is 100 percent fully funded which means the person who qualifies is not allowed to top up the cost of their care package. To qualify, you need to attend to a screening assessment, detailed assessment (70 pages usually).

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.

Detailed guidance on

  • Family Representative Services.
  • Community and Inpatient Rehabilitation.
  • Re-Ablement Support available to those recently discharged from Hospital.

The following supported options are available, depending on your individual circumstances and preferences:

    Community Rehabilitation: these services are designed to help you be more independent and remain in your family home or other location home as long as possible.

    • Inpatient Rehabilitation: these are units that provide treatment and support for patients whose physical abilities have decreased through their period of illness.
    • Reablement this is a planned, short term, intensive service that supports people to regain their independence after a short stay in hospital or an illness that has resulted in them being unable to cope. The aim is to help the individual to regain independence and be able to function safely at home. Reablement can take place in a person’s own home, or in a residential care home setting. For these services to be accessed, the ward staff (in the Hospital) will need to complete a referral to the adult social care services to request a social care assessment. A social worker will then visit, on the ward, and complete a detailed assessment of the patient’s needs to see if reablement will be suitable. The social worker (or an occupational therapist) will then prepare a care and support plan, based on the assessment, to start after the discharge date. The support that reablement provides includes: – Support with your personal care – Assistance with preparing and cooking meals – Enabling a person to manage household chores – Support for family members who provide additional care Reablement lasts for a maximum of six weeks usually and is regularly reviewed as the patient becomes more independent. If ongoing support is required, beyond the six week period, it is planned with the family or carer.
    • Residential placements: if someone is ready to leave hospital, but are not able to return home safely, they may be able to go into a residential or nursing home for a short time. This gives makes more recover time available.