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Caring for someone with dementia is not easy but can be very rewarding. There are a few things that you can do to help yourself. Firstly you need to look after your health and wellbeing. Your health needs are just as important as the person you are caring for.

Do not feel guilty if sometimes things get on top of you and you get upset and cry, we are only human and it's not easy being a carer.

Give your self-time off where possible with an activity that is for you rather than for someone else. There are also many carers groups where you can be with like-minded people and it can be good to see that other people have similar problems when caring. If you are able to, give yourself time to relax and if you work with people with dementia, try to not take your work worries home with you.

Learning more about Dementia and its different forms can help the carer and you could attend a local course or discussion group. Read and research about dementia, we have put some information and links on the student download area of this course. Any information you learn may help you now or in the future. Dementia is a massive subject and no one expects you to know everything.

If you care for someone and it's not your job, get advice on your rights and see if you or they can claim any benefits. Benefits are your right and can help a lot in providing care for someone. There are also many charities that can help and the environment that you live in to make life easier for you both.

In times where you need to call for help, having information written down can help you. Things of note are:

  • The name and number of your Carer’s Centre
  • Name and number of your Support Worker
  • Name and number of someone you know you can call on for help
  • Doctors, medical centres and hospitals.

Write these names and numbers down, you may know them by heart, but in a stressful moment, you may not be able to recall them. Creating a notice board in the fridge or wall with tasks that need to be done each week can also help you with planning and not forgetting things.

Finally, Involve family and friends, the person who has dementia is the same person of a year ago, except that they are now ill.