A Practical Guide for Dementia

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Contents

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Support when you need it

Get a needs assessment

Get a needs assessment

There's lots of support available to help you stay in your own home and keep your independence. And there are benefit payments you may be able to claim to help with finances.

If you've not done so already, ask your local social services for an assessment of your care needs. Many people think of social care as being moved into a care home or nursing home. In fact, most social care is geared to helping people stay in their own homes and have a good quality of life.

Read about the different roles of social services and the NHS at NHS Choices.

In the early stages of dementia, you may need very little support. You might be given information about local services and support groups and may not need much more. Later, however, you might need special equipment, help with daily tasks or adaptations to your home.

You can get advice on needs assessments from the Admiral Nursing Direct helpline - call 0845 257 9406 or email direct@dementiauk.org.

Help with costs

Help with costs

Some people with dementia can have their care needs partly or entirely paid for by the local authority. If you want care and support paid for by the local authority you must have a care needs assessment and meet various conditions, mainly about your income and savings.

For information on social care and assessments go to Citizens Advice or the NHS website.

There's also a system of free NHS 'continuing healthcare' which pays for all health and care needs together. Some people with dementia qualify for this, but only if their main need is for healthcare rather than social care. The Alzheimer's Society has information on NHS continuing care.

Care plans

Care plans

Everyone with a long-term condition such as dementia should have a written care plan to help manage their day-to-day health and care. You should be as involved as you want to be in creating the care plan - it is individual to you. It starts with the needs identified in your care assessment and sets out how those needs will be met. The care plan should be reviewed regularly to make sure it is working and to keep pace with changes in the support you need. Read about care planson the NHS website.

Benefits

Benefits

You should check that you are claiming any benefits or tax credits you might be eligible for. You can find out about financial help you might be able to claim on GOV.UK.

If you are under 65, you might be able to claim the Personal Independence Payment. If you need help with daily tasks, such as dressing or at mealtimes, you could be eligible for Attendance Allowance (even if you don't currently get the help you need). If you get Attendance Allowance you could also get a council tax reduction and extra pension credit or housing benefit. You can ask about this at the office handling the benefits or call the helpline on 0345 605 6055. Find out about Attendance Allowance at Citizens Advice.

If your partner, another relative or friend is spending time helping you, they might be classed as a 'carer' even though neither of you think of it like that. But if you get any one of a range of benefits, they might be entitled to Carer's Allowance if they are spending more than 35 hours a week helping you. Find out about Carer's Allowance at Carers UK

Content on HealthUnlocked does not replace the relationship between you and doctors or other healthcare professionals nor the advice you receive from them.

Never delay seeking advice or dialling emergency services because of something that you have read on HealthUnlocked.