A person with dementia and their primary carer playing Monopoly

Facing new challenges when caring: how our new guide can help

If you are the main person supporting someone with dementia, our new guide is for you. Read how it can support you when facing new challenges.

Caring for a person with dementia can be a rewarding experience. But we also know that it can be very challenging at times. As dementia progresses, the person may show changes that you haven’t experienced before, or weren’t expecting.

This can be daunting, but our new free guide is here to help. Caring for a person with dementia: A practical guide contains information and advice on all aspects of supporting someone with dementia. This includes some common challenges, a few of which we've highlighted below.

Five caring challenges our guide can help you with

1. When the person doesn’t accept their diagnosis

It can be very difficult both for you and a person with dementia if they have received a diagnosis but don’t acknowledge it. They might put memory problems or other changes to their behaviour down to them getting older, or simply change the subject if you try to mention their condition. The guide includes information on denial and lack of insight with advice on how to manage this difficult situation.

2. You need a break from caring

Everyone who cares for someone with dementia will need to take breaks for their own health and wellbeing, and to help them to carry on caring. Making time for yourself and looking into replacement care will enable you to do this, and you’ll find information and advice on this and other ways to look after yourself. 

3. The person’s behaviour changes

One of the most difficult aspects of dementia is often when people start to behave in ways that others find hard to understand. This can be very challenging both for the person with the condition and for you as someone caring for them. Tips in the guide include advice on managing any changes in behaviour as well as specific tips on responding to someone who behaves aggressively or regularly leaves home to walk about. 

4. The person’s personal care needs change 

As dementia progresses, a person will often need more support with personal care. One of the most challenging aspects of this can be if someone develops continence issues. You’ll find practical advice on daily personal care as well as tips for reducing and managing any continence issues.

5. Deciding where the person will live

When a person is in the later stages of dementia there can be some very difficult decisions to make, such as whether they should move into a care home or another supported living arrangement. The guide includes information on different housing options and advice on coping with these changes.

Throughout the guide you’ll also find a wealth of information on many other issues you may face when caring for a person with dementia along with details on where to go for further advice or support. 

More than 140 carers contributed to this guide, as well as health and social care professionals and other experts with specialist knowledge and experience.

For the support you need as a carer, turn to this guide.

View or order the guide

Caring for a person with dementia: A practical guide is available to download or order for free. Choose how you would prefer to receive it. 

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16 comments

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As a Dementia Friend Champion I can show it at sessions

I find my wife is withdrawing from physical contact. Is this quite usual?

Hi Phelippe, we have information about changes in behaviour on our site here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/sym…

You may also wish to talk to one of our Helpline advisers for support, you can contact us on 0300 222 11 22

Thank you

My mum is in very late stage dementia

Hello. i am carer for my 86yr
old husband who has dementia and Alzheimer's
the carers book would really help. could you please send me a copy.. many thanks

Hi Yvonne, we'd be happy to send you a copy. You can order one via this form: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/form/order-free-publications

Please fill it out and select: Caring for a person with dementia: A practical guide (600)

Thank you

I am getting very bad at remembering things very soon when I have planned what to do I am also dropping things and knocking myself . Your comments please.

Hi Harry, I'm sorry to hear you are having these memory concerns. We have information on our site here you may wish to read: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/wor…

Please also feel free to give our Helpline a call on 0300 222 11 22 for advice and support.

Thank you.

Great Idea and a wonderful way to support folk

Bless all people caring for loved ones.its so demanding but hang in there.
There is help if you go looking for it,this pdf is very useful in that regard

How the hell do you get A Care Home when you have no money?

Hi Shelly, you can find information about selecting and moving in to care homes on our site here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-and-factsheets/s…

Also, our Helpline advisers are happy to answer any questions, you can call 0300 222 11 22 to talk to someone.

A great source of information.
However, in section 5 I can't see any reference to a Dementia care advisor or Dementia support worker. I work as a Dementia care advisor and the service offers on going support to those with dementia and their carers. The service is available in most areas and is provided by Local Authorities or Alzheimer's society.

Hi Michelle, thank you for your comment and for highlighting the role that dementia advisers and support workers can play. There is some information about the support that they can provide in section 9, ‘Alzheimer’s Society services and support’. As with all feedback we receive, your suggestion will be considered when we next update the content for the guide.

It's is wonderful to have an organisation such as yours, it is extremely helpful to those of us who care for an elderly relative or person.

I am the carer of my husband. I get much enjoyment from looking after him . I hope one day everyone feel the same . We have a living carer he is calm , smiles often , talk I am very grateful that he is with me.

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