Support if you’re caring for someone with dementia

Dementia affects the whole person as well as those close to them. As dementia progresses, caring can be challenging and stressful but help and support are available.

Not everyone who is supporting a family member or a loved one with dementia will see themselves as a carer, but you’re still entitled to support.

You’re entitled to a carer’s assessment from your local authority.

Talking to others

If a family member or loved one has dementia, you may find it difficult to stay positive. But, remember that you’re not alone and help and support is available.

Talk to someone about your worries. This could be:

You could also contact a local carers’ group to meet other people in similar situations.

Meeting Centres offer community based support for people living with dementia and their care partners.

Support for you as a carer

Both you and the person with dementia will need support.

It’s a good idea to:

  • make sure you’re registered as a carer with your GP
  • apply for a carer’s assessment
  • check if you’re eligible for benefits for carers
  • find out about training courses that could help you

Respite care

If you’re a carer, it’s important that you’re able to take a break (respite) from care. This can help your physical health and improve your psychological wellbeing.

You may also need respite care if you have to go into hospital, or to meet other important commitments.

Friends, relatives and neighbours can provide respite care at home. You may also be able to arrange home respite care through home care agencies or your local authority.

Care away from home can confuse people with dementia, both while they’re away and when they come back. If you decide to organise respite care away from the person’s home, try to visit the space beforehand. This means you can check if it meets the needs of the person with dementia.

Support organisations

If you’re looking after someone with dementia, it’s important that you know how to get help and support for yourself.

You can contact Care Information Scotland for information on support available. Phone them on 0800 011 3200 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

Alzheimer Scotland also have advice on support near you. You can phone their helpline on 0808 808 3000.

The Carers Trust has information and advice on how to get help and support. They can also help you arrange a break from caring.

Age Scotland offer a free, confidential phone service for older people, their carers and families in Scotland. You can phone them on 0800 12 44 222.

Support groups

You can also turn to online communities on the Carers UK forum and the Carers Trust forum.

Age Scotland offer free carers training for unpaid carers of people with dementia.

Last updated:
27 May 2024