Support to live well
Connecting with the person
Every individual has their own personality, history and preferences, whether or not they are living with dementia. It is important to ‘see the person’ rather than just the condition. Whether you are a family carer, friend, professional carer or volunteer, you can contribute to the wellbeing and quality of life of the person you care for by treating them with dignity and respect.
By focusing on individual needs and preferences, you can do a lot to improve the wellbeing and quality of life for a person who is living with dementia. Objects and memories from the past can be a powerful way of re-connecting with the person you are caring for.
Some people living with dementia may find aspects of communication difficult, which can be frustrating for them. As a carer, you can help by showing your understanding and patience, and by giving the person the time and space to respond. You can also look for non-verbal signs, such as facial expressions and body language.
There are lots of support organisations and networks that can help you if you or a loved one are living with dementia. These include the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK, as well as networks that support carers such as Carers UK
Ask your GP or local Alzheimer’s Society office about local networks and groups in your area. It can be really useful to meet and to talk to other people who are going through the same experience.
- The Alzheimer’s Society – Supporting anyone affected by dementia, the society do everything they can to keep people with dementia connected to their lives and the people who matter most.
- Dementia Connect - The Alzheimer’s society directory that lets you find voluntary, statutory and private services nearest and most relevant to you.
- NHS Choices - Advice on symptoms and diagnosis, living with dementia, care and support and where to find help.
- Dementia UK – Providing compassionate support and guidance to help families to live more positively with dementia.
- Alzheimer’s Research UK – Helpful information, including guides to help children and young people understand dementia.
- Dementia Carer - Carers of people living with dementia talk about what helps them, what to do when things get tough, and where to find support.
- Carers Trust - The Carer's Trust work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend.
- Carers UK – Advice and guidance to help make life better for carers.
- Dementia Friends - Learn about dementia and the small ways you can help.