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SUPPORTING A PERSON WITH DEMENTIA

SUPPORTING A PERSON WITH DEMENTIA

Being the main supporter for a spouse or parent with dementia can be stressful, but Dementia Wellington can help.

HOW DEMENTIA WELLINGTON CAN HELP

We recognise that a dementia diagnosis affects an entire family, not just the person diagnosed, so Dementia Wellington offers tailored support and advice to anyone caring for a person with dementia, throughout the progression of the dementia.

One-on-one expert advice

Our team of professional Dementia Advisors provide information and advice specific for you and your situation, and will also work with other organisations to make sure you have access to all the services and support you are entitled to.

Supporter Groups

Supporter meetings provide a safe environment in which people supporting someone affected by a dementia can meet and share experiences. 

Each meeting will usually be facilitated by a Dementia Advisor from Dementia Wellington who has a depth of knowledge about dementia and understanding of the issues and challenges facing informal carers.  It is the facilitator’s role to introduce new members to the group and to direct discussion where necessary.

The facilitator will also have a good understanding of the current services and resources available to support families and how these can be accessed.

The meetings are held in an informal atmosphere and benefits from attending will include:

  • Education and advice on dementia and the services available to support families
  • Self help and peer support
  • An opportunity to raise and discover answers to questions or concerns.

Find you closest Support Group in the News and Resources page.

EDUCATION

Dementia Wellington has a range of education courses and seminars available for families supporting a person with dementia.

Navigating Dementia

Our ninety-minute interactive seminar navigating dementia is a great starting point for people newly diagnosed with dementia and their families. In this course we discuss what is and what isn’t dementia, and what services are available for people affected by dementia. Click here to find out when the next Navigating Dementia course is being held.

Dementia Essentials courses

Our Dementia Essentials courses are two-day courses designed for people supporting someone living with dementia. There are 3 different courses, one for each of the stages of dementia. It is best to attend the course that relates to your current situation, then attend the next course when your situation changes.

Early Stage:    

  • Learn about the causes and symptoms of dementia
  • Learn how to support maximum health and independence of a person with dementia

Mid Stage:

  • Understand and respond to changes as dementia progresses
  • Become well-resourced to manage any safety concerns
  • Be better prepared for the future including using respite and/or preparing for long term care

Late Stage:

  • Understand the changes as dementia progresses into later stage
  • Learn how to establish and maintain a shared care approach with other care providers such as a day programme or care facility

SUPPORT FROM OTHER ORGANISATIONS

If a family member has been diagnosed with a dementia, it’s advisable for them to get a

Needs Assessment and Service Coordination Service (NASC) assessment. Their GP should provide a referral, or you can contact your local NASC team directly. Even if the person with dementia is not yet eligible for services, it’s a good idea to be in the system so help can be accessed when required.

Other useful organisations include:

Carers NZ

WellElder - a counselling service for older people

Ministry of Health Carers Support

You could also consider using a private homecare provider.

TIPS TO LIVE WELL WHEN SUPPORTING SOMEONE WITH DEMENTIA

When you are the main support for a person with dementia, it’s crucial that you take care of yourself as well. This means making sure you access the help and services you’re eligible for and getting help from family and friends whenever possible.

Respite care allows you to have a break from the hands-on work of caring, while offering a person with dementia the opportunity for cognitive stimulation and social activity, such as a local day programme. Often respite care is funded by the DHB.

Your Dementia Advisor will be able to provide advice for your specific situation, but Alzheimers NZ has a really helpful booklet available for people supporting someone with dementia.

Respite care can be in a day programme or in a short-term residential care facility that’s funded by your local District Health Board (DHB). Talk to your Dementia Advisor to find out the respite available for you.

SUPPORTING THE SUPPORTER

A dementia diagnosis affects not only the person diagnosed, but the whole family and whanau. If you’re not the main carer, it can be difficult knowing how to help. Alzheimers NZ has a really helpful booklet available about caring for someone with dementia, including practical tips you can use to support your family member or friend.