National Carers Week (16-22 October) provides a chance to show our appreciation for Australia’s 2.65 million carers, in particular, the carers of people living with dementia.
According to Dementia Australia, approximately 65% of people with dementia live in the community and an estimated 1.6 million Australians are involved in caring for someone living with dementia.
The Forward with Dementia website was developed with the help of carers of people with dementia, and their suggestions, strategies and advice can be accessed via the “For Carers” section of this website. There are five key sections for carers, designed to provide effective guidance of what to do and where to go after a family member or friend is diagnosed with dementia:
- Understanding the diagnosis– making sense of what you are going through and what to expect
- Coming to terms with the diagnosis– to help you manage your feelings in order that you can move forward to adapt to life with dementia.
- Managing change– explores common changes that occur and the interventions and strategies to help you manage these to get on with living life.
- Supporting well-being– provides the best evidence to keep you both happy, healthy and get the best out of your day.
- Making plans and decisions– outlines the ‘life admin’ tasks you need to attend to for peace of mind.
What carers say about Forward with Dementia
Natasha, who cares for her mother said she used Forward with Dementia:
For problem solving, for trying to find out more about certain things that I don’t quite understand, and for links to other resources, like the sensory book.”
Another carer, Graeme, has supported his wife with dementia for the last five years. He said:
It is probably the best lot of information I’ve found… And one important thing I picked up was in terms of not trying to take over everything. Because it’s about supporting her and being understanding, not taking over.”
For more information on this, see the article Helping without taking over.
Resources for carers
Carers can benefit from reading about the direct experiences of others. Check out some of our inspirational carer stories including: