Caring for a person with dementia
Caring for someone with Dementia can be difficult. This short guide will provide you with important information about receiving support and caring for your relative.
Help with costs of care
There are a number of ways to get help with the cost of caring for someone with dementia. You may qualify for a 25% reduction on your Council Tax bill if you live with someone with later stage-dementia. You can also apply for Carer’s Allowance. However, before applying check if claiming will reduce income related benefits.
There are other ways you can get help, check this Age UK guide for further details.
Making decisions for the future
It is important to make decisions for the future. You should make sure that you record your loved one’s wishes, while they still have capacity to communicate them. It will give you a peace of mind that they are receiving care that they want.
If the person you care for still has mental capacity, they may want to consider setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This allows them to appoint someone they trust to make decisions on their behalf. An LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used, but if the person with dementia loses mental capacity having already signed the LPA, their attorney can still register it. If the person doesn’t have an LPA, you can apply to the Court of Protection who can appoint someone else to make decisions on behalf of someone else.
If the person you are caring for can still manage basic finances, contact their power companies to let them know that the person has dementia and give them an alternative contact number so the person isn’t suddenly cut off if they forget to pay the bills. It will also be helpful to put important documents - such as bank statements, insurance policies, wills and pension details - in a safe place.
Creating a good home environment
Creating a good home environment can go a long way to ensure that the person you are caring for is comfortable. There are several helpful gadgets you can get, which monitor movement in the house and alert you of possible emergencies.
You should reduce excess noise, as symptoms of dementia can be made worse through problems with sight and hearing together. You can do this by laying down carpets and getting more cushions and curtains to improve the acoustics in the house.
Shiny flooring should be avoided, as this might be perceived as wet - a person with dementia might struggle to walk over it. If you are changing carpets, choose one which is the same colour throughout the house.
Contrasting colours in the house might help people with dementia navigate the house. These give sense of depth and perspective in the room. Doors and banister painted a different colour will make them stand out from the walls. You should also label drawers, cupboards and toilet with images describing what is in different rooms.