At Alzheimer's Society, the charity believes passionately that life doesn't end when dementia begins. They are there for anyone affected by dementia and do everything they can to keep people with dementia connected to their lives and the people who matter most.
Dementia is a complex condition and support needs are often more specialist than those provided by primary care. They include help with daily tasks, fall prevention, going to community groups and talking therapy to improve wellbeing and prevent mental health crises.
Family carers also regularly reach breaking point, stressed and unable to cope with the demands of caring. Over two-thirds (68%) of people affected by dementia reported a lack of carer support, either for themselves or those who care for them, and an audit of memory services found that a quarter of services did not offer carer support such as psychoeducation, for people to learn how to deal with dementia.
A recent report, Left to Cope Alone: The unmet support needs after a dementia diagnosis, revealed three in five (61%) of people affected by dementia did not feel they had received enough support in the last 12 months.
A second survey of another 1,000 people affected by dementia, also showed that more than half (54%) of family carers reached crisis point in the last year alone1 with families having no idea of the support available. This left people with dementia at risk of going to hospital with avoidable conditions like falls or urinary tract infections, creating unnecessary pressure on the NHS.
Getting a dementia diagnosis is life changing. And without the right support after a diagnosis, people can feel abandoned by the system. Alzheimer’s Society employs 719 front-line staff across the country, including dementia advisers, who are dedicated support workers providing one-to-one help for people with dementia and their families.
“After I was given the clinical diagnosis, there was no practical or emotional support – we had to sort ourselves out.
We had no idea what to expect and it was only when we were put in touch with Alzheimer’s Society weeks later that we got answers. I can’t tell you how much stress and worry the delay caused.” - John
It's thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery that the Alzheimer’s Society can equip people with the knowledge and support needed to navigate their diagnosis and be on hand to connect them with the support they need close to where they live. Players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised £3,250,000 for Alzheimer’s Society which has been awarded through Postcode Care Trust.
“It’s so important there is no delay between the medical diagnosis and the social support, to stop the added stress and worry for those affected by this devastating condition.” - John
This World Alzheimer’s day is about highlighting the need for effective and timely support after diagnosis, reducing the incidence of people reaching crisis. Staying independent at home is the best way for people to maintain a good standard of living. But when admissions to hospital result in lengthy stays for people with dementia, their condition can accelerate rapidly. Hip fractures account for 17% of all hospital admissions for people with dementia. But in 85% of these cases, people with dementia spend twice as long in hospital compared to those without dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Society Support Line is open seven days a week, and trained Dementia Advisers are available to take calls from those who have concerns about dementia. Information is key to supporting people in the aftermath of a diagnosis, and Dementia Advisers can help people navigate the often complex means of accessing appropriate support.