Being the person who a relative or friend with dementia relies on for support can feel isolating, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Dementia Support Forum and CrISP courses are just two ways to connect with other carers – see our dementia directory to find what’s available near you.
Dementia Support Forum
Dementia Support Forum (which is changing its name from Talking Point) is our online community for people affected by dementia.
Day or night, members share advice, concerns and information with others who understand the reality of life with dementia.
All you need to do is register using whatever username you prefer.
What can I expect?
The forum has threads (discussions) on topics ranging from sleep problems and mood swings to weekly chats and word games.
It’s run by a small team of Society staff and volunteers who have personal experience of dementia.
It isn’t the place to get specific medical or legal advice, but it is a welcoming environment where people affected by dementia support each other.
Who is it for?
Anyone who’s been affected by dementia is welcome to join the forum.
Most users consider it a valuable source of information that helps them to feel less isolated.
Glenys Smith, 74, in Bristol, cares for her husband Ralph, who has Alzheimer’s.
She turned to the forum when she began to feel overwhelmed by changes in his behaviour.
‘Around 18 months after his diagnosis, Ralph became verbally aggressive through frustration and directed it at me,’ Glenys says.
‘It is very upsetting when your partner of 50 years is horrible to you, and I did feel physically scared of him once.
‘On the forum, I could share experiences of sundowning and knew people really got it.
It’s a space to be heard and even have a rant at times, as well as hear practical suggestions.
‘The acceptance from others is comforting and helps with the loneliness of being a carer.
‘The moderators also do a really good job with their gentle interventions where appropriate.’
Visit the forum to find out more, look around and join in.
Carer Information and Support Programme
The Carer Information and Support Programme, or CrISP, is a short course that covers understanding dementia, legal and money matters, support and care, and coping day to day.
The course isn’t available everywhere, but it’s worth finding out if you can take part with a group near you – see our dementia directory.
What can I expect?
The course is delivered to small groups over a number of weeks, either face-to-face or online.
Trish, in Keynsham, cares for her husband Howard, who has Alzheimer’s.
She says CrISP gave her practical advice to communicate with him better.
‘The course gave me great insight into how to accept things and not to try to change Howard’s mind,’ Trish says.
I’ve now learnt to reduce tension and avoid arguments by keeping responses simple.
‘A person with dementia may not remember where they’ve been, but they will remember whether they’ve had a happy or sad experience.'
‘I had already done a lot of research on dementia, but the CrISP course made me aware of the benefits and support available to carers and people with dementia. I’ve since claimed several allowances.’
Find local support
Use our dementia directory to find local support services for people with dementia and their carers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.