Help and support for people with dementia
The task of caring for someone living with dementia can seem totally overwhelming. Firstly you have to deal with the symptoms of dementia like memory loss and changes in behaviour and the impact that these changes have on daily live. You find yourself dealing with all sorts of people from GP’s to Social Services. You are potentially asked to make legal decisions concerning your loved one or they may be impacted by legislation contained in the Mental Health Act or Mental Capacity Act.
So this section aims to cover all the legal aspects of dementia and what help and support is available, including:
Legislation which can affect those living with dementia
- How people living with dementia may be affected by the Mental Health Act 1983, amended in 2007 (England & Wales) / The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 / Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986.
- How people living with dementia may be affected by the Mental Capacity Act of 2005 (England & Wales) / Adults with incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 / Mental Capacity Act (N Ireland) 2016.
Healthcare professionals and care plans
- A list of the professionals involved in dementia care that you may come into contact with and their roles and responsibilities.
- Details of the various dementia care plans which may be put into place to help and support both you and your loved one from diagnosis right through to end of life.
Get as much help and support as possible
I wish I had known about everything included in this section before we were impacted by it. That way we could have made sure that we were getting all the help and support available.
Mum spent some time in Cross Lane psychiatric hospital, and while there Mum was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. It came as a complete shock when it happened and I would have been better prepared had I known it was a possibility.
In addition I wish I had known more about care planning as I would have requested that an end of life / palliative care plan be put into place. This would have given us greater confidence that we were doing the best we could for Mum as well as providing us, the family, with more support. I felt that we weren’t supported enough during the last few days of Mum’s life. As a result I am left feeling that we could have done more to make Mum more comfortable, which is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.
My advice is, learn the basics so you know what help is available. Don’t be intimidated by doctors and other healthcare professionals, it is their job to help and support you. Make sure that your loved one has a care plan in place throughout. And finally dementia is a difficult journey so take all the help and support that is available.
Over the next few months I will be adding a couple more pages to this section including:
- A page that looks more in depth at person centred care plans, which are often put into place in care home or nursing home settings. The page will cover why person centred care plans benefit the individuals and some of the different approaches / tools which are used to create them.
- A page that looks at the services, care and support that care homes and nursing homes can provide.
I hope you find this section useful in helping you make the most of the care and support available.