This Carers Rights Day (Thursday 23 November), Alzheimer’s Society wants people caring for loved ones with dementia in West Sussex to know their rights and get the support they need.
900,000 people are living with dementia in the UK, supported by 700,000 unpaid carers. In West Sussex there are currently over 15,300 people living with dementia, with that figure set to rise by over 41% to more than 21,100 by 2030.
Research commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society earlier this year revealed that almost a quarter (23%) of unpaid dementia carers in the South East felt that they were losing their identity.
On average, three quarters of unpaid carers in the South East surveyed spent over four days (31 hours) a week providing emotional and practical support for their loved ones.
The impact on carers and their families is huge, with many sacrificing time with their partner and children to care for loved ones, and almost two fifths (39%) in the South East saying it impacted their relationships. With Christmas coming up, the pressure on carers to do more also increases with additional family commitments.
Carrie Holmes an Alzheimer’s Society Regional Manager for West Sussex said:
“One in three people born today will develop dementia in their lifetime. Finding yourself caring for someone you love can be a daunting prospect, particularly as it changes the relationship.”
“Our Dementia Advisers are here to help people understand dementia, get support by guiding them through the complicated maze of health and social care services, and plan for the future.”
“We’re on hand to offer expert advice, tailored information, and emotional support so people can adjust to, and make the most of their life with dementia. If you’re caring for someone with the condition, it’s important you know your rights as you may be eligible for some benefits. We can talk you through this and how to claim.”
Anyone who cares for a person with dementia is entitled to an assessment of their needs as a carer. This is called a carers assessment. It should identify what your needs are and work out what type of support would meet your needs. If you meet certain eligibility criteria, the local authority may pay for your support. Even if the person you are caring for is paying for their own care (self-funding), you may still be able to receive support.
If you’re caring for someone with dementia and need help, Alzheimer’s Society is here for you. Call their Support Line on 0333 150 3456 for emotional support and practical advice or visit alzheimers.org.uk/support to find local services and the Dementia Support Forum.