Dementia Carers week
What is it like to be a carer for somebody with dementia? The answer is that it is filled with happiness and joy in spending quality time with that person, sadness at their illness and their loss of sense of self and at times difficult and hard work, as well as many other emotions.
I would like to say to all carers, well done, you are doing a great job.
Within a year of diagnosis of dementia, the carer has an 85% chance of being clinically depressed*. Dementia is a deteriorating condition and ultimately a terminal diagnosis. The carer will be there to support the person through that journey, but over time will watch them lose their abilities and they can lose some aspects of their personality, which is a hard journey to walk alongside.
It is also time to build memories and create a good quality life for the person, with the time that they have left and with the abilities that they still retain. By spending mindful time with that person they can have many beautiful moments which they will cherish forever, often found in the small moments such as a chat over a cup and bit of cake.
People with dementia are still people with their own preferences and wishes. As far as is possible and practicable, their wishes should be honoured or supported. It can become difficult if the person with dementia has had a personality change and their preferences have changed from the former version of themselves, as it can be difficult to know which version to honour.
There is support for people with dementia, which can be accessed via adult social care, who were able to make referrals to other organisations and every person should have a dementia support worker. Carers are entitled to their own assessment of their needs, again accessed via adult social care.
With the awareness that dementia is increasing in their numbers and will have an impact across the whole of society and is global, there is an awareness to provide support for people affected by dementia, either living with it or as a carer. There is currently a lot of money invested in research, looking at both medical and social interventions. This rise in dementia awareness has highlighted the need for compassion for anyone affected by dementia. Dementia awareness will hopefully also remove the stigma that can be associated with the diagnosis.
Here are Nash & Co, I am here to support individuals and their families affected by dementia with both their legal needs and care advocacy issues. If you have any questions regarding caring for someone with a dementia, please contact me.