There are over 470,00 people living with dementia in Australia and it is estimated that about 250 people are joining their ranks every day.
It is well recognised that caring for someone with dementia can be of one the most demanding form of care. It can be accompanied by feelings of loss and grief for the relationship and life you once shared with the person you are caring for. It can impact on relationships with family and friends who do not know how to react to your situation. Some behaviours exhibited by people with dementia can result in social stigma when you are out in the community and even with close friends or acquaintances.
The good news is that there are a number of support services for carers of people with dementia. These include information and advice, education for your caring role and in understanding dementia, peer support, counselling to help you cope and preserve your own emotional wellbeing, and opportunities for you to take a break.
Dementia Australia’s website is a rich source of information on the range of supports you may be able to access as a carer – https://www.dementia.org.au/
They also run the National Dementia Helpline which can provide counselling, emotional support and guidance, connect you to Dementia Australia and community support services and programs, discuss government support, including My Aged Care, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Carer Gateway and Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS).
Helpful link: Dementia Australia – education programs for family carers and family members
Dementia Services Australia also provides access to consultants on a 24/7 contact basis through the Australian Government funded Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services (DBMAS). This is a support service for people with dementia who are experiencing changes in behaviour that impact their care or the carer.
Free Call: 1800 699 799
The My Aged Care website has information on caring for someone with dementia and the support services which can assist you https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/caring-someone-living-dementia#support
The Dementia Centre has a Dementia Podcast and carers ‘knowledge hub’ https://www.dementiacentre.com/resources?filter[tag]=information-for-carers