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Kinds of caring

Caring for someone with dementia

Caring for someone with dementia presents a range of practical issues that can be different from those of other carers. Links to all the sections mentioned below can be found in NHS Choices links, right.

If you're caring for someone with dementia, check that both you and the person you're looking after are getting all the benefits and tax credits you're entitled to. Checking Carers' benefits section in NHS Choices links, right. For example, you may be able to make a claim for Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance for the person you're caring for and then a claim for Carer’s Allowance for yourself. The Money and legal section will guide you through the benefits you may be entitled to (see Also in Carers Direct, right).

If the person you're caring for is losing the capacity to make their own decisions or has lost that capacity, you may find it useful to look at the section Managing someone's legal affairs. This contains information on power of attorney and the Mental Capacity Act.

Getting help

It's important for you to have a carer’s assessment and for the person you're looking after to have had their own assessment, to ensure that you're both getting all the support that you're entitled to from the local authority. See Carers' Assessments to find out how to get these assessments.

You or the person you are looking after may be entitled to a discount on your council tax. Some carers are entitled to a discount as are some people who have a severe mental impairment. See the section on Help with Council Tax for more information.

Looking after someone with dementia can be exhausting as well as rewarding and it is essential that you get regular breaks. The section on Time off contains suggestions on finding funding for a break, links to organisations that arrange holidays for people with disabilities and information on organising respite care.

To talk to a trained specialist dementia nurse about caring for someone with dementia, call Admiral Nursing Direct on 0845 257 9406 - lines are open 11am to 8.45pm Tuesadays and Thursdays, and 10am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Watch the video below to find out more about caring for someone with dementia.

Alzheimer's disease: real story

Stan Lintern has had Alzheimer’s disease for 10 years. He is cared for by his wife Denise, who helped set up the Maidstone branch of the Alzheimer’s Society and runs the helpline.


Last reviewed: 14/05/2009

Next review due: 13/05/2011

Call Carers Direct on 0808 802 0202

Or contact us via our enquiry form.

Free, confidential information and advice for carers.

Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines.

More about the Carers Direct helpline.