In the later stages of dementia, it is likely that the person affected by memory loss and those who care for them will have seen a significant shift in how they live their life.
Most people require full time care and support at this point as they come to have significant struggles with their memory. They may stop recognising places and people that are familiar to them and even think they are living at an earlier point in their life.
What Can I do?
Below is a list of activities, information and considerations that will be useful to think about at this point:
A non means-tested national benefit which can be applied for through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This is for those who need day to day assistance and are of state pension age or over. To apply contact DWP to request a form and you will be given six weeks to complete and return, if awarded they may be able to backdate your payment to the date you made the request. If you would like help to complete this long form, Age UK Bedfordshire provide a free form filling service. Contact them on 01234 360510.
For further information visit the DWP website.
A blue badge entitles someone to use disabled parking in order to park closer to you destination. This can be awarded to people who cannot walk far but also to those who may find walking to their destination causes psychological distress or could endanger themselves or others due to a mental health condition or dementia.
Find out how to apply for a Blue Badge.
Local council information:
If you have already been through the process with social services, then you are entitled to have this reviewed on an annual basis. If your situation changes you may be entitled to more support. Depending on your individual financial circumstances you may qualify for assistance with costs.
All carers are entitled to a carers assessment through their local authority. This assessment will look at how your caring responsibilities affect your wellbeing and may recommend specific support. This does differ depending on whether you live in Central Bedfordshire or Bedford Borough. Depending on your individual financial circumstances you may qualify for assistance with costs.
If you provide substantial care as an unpaid carer, a carers grant can enable you to take up a break, activity, service or training that will improve your health or wellbeing. As a carer registered with us, you can apply for a grant online through our website or by post.
Our independent panel reviews each application and makes awards against grant criteria. We will send you an email or a letter after the panel has been held at the end of each month.
For further information visit our Carers Grants page.
It can be difficult to continue with friendships, hobbies and social activities when you are caring for someone else day to day, and often this means that carers will lose touch with friends, or stop taking part in their hobbies. It can be hard to prioritise yourself, but try to make time, even if this is less than before. If you need some time where the person you care for is being looked after by someone else, please access a Carers Assessment (see section above) from your local authority.
If you receive Attendance Allowance and have a diagnosis of dementia you could be entitled to a reduction in your council tax. A form from your local authority will need to be completed and returned with evidence to document your receipt of AA and confirmation of your diagnosis. The form you need to complete is called ‘severe mental impairment’.
The Carers Hubs remain closed but we can still help.
We are working closely with staff at both hospitals so if you or the person you care for is in hospital do get in touch. We can then make contact with you to ensure you have all the support you need; whether that be information, advice, practical or emotional support.
We know that a hospital admission can be scary and we are experienced in understanding hospital processes around discharge and continuing care once back in the community.
In both Bedford Hospital and Luton and Dunstable University Hospital there are specialist dementia nurses available to assist you during your stay or that of a family member.
Luton and Dunstable – Yvonne Weldon (Dementia Nurse Specialist) – 01582 497417 / 01582 491166 Bleep 164
Bedford Hospital – Claire Day (Admiral Nurse) – 07393 267838 / 01234 355122 Ext. 6653
Applying for Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) early is useful in order to plan for the future and ensure those you trust are able to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to. There are two types of LPA, one for health and welfare, and the other for property and finances. Both types are important for different reasons.
Learn more about how to apply for LPA.
This assessment can look at what care and support needs there may be and suggestions could be made as to what this might look like. You may wish to have carers visiting to assist with providing personal care or checking in to assist with medication or mealtimes. Depending on your individual financial circumstances you may qualify for assistance with costs.
Respite care is short-term care to give carers a break from caring. This can enable carers to visit family, take a holiday or recharge. This may be a short stay in residential care, or it is sometimes possible to arrange care at home. Depending on your individual financial circumstances you may qualify for assistance with costs.
It is useful to speak to your local authority to discuss your options for having a break.
Find more information on our Carers in Bedfordshire website.
Staying active is important to maintain your own mental and physical wellbeing. If you are able to take part in regular activity this may help you to continue caring for your family member or friend for longer.
For those who would like to get together with others, you can find out more about the groups available on our What’s On guide. Some of these take place in person in various locations across the county. However if you are unable to leave your home, you may be able to join an online exercise session.
Try to make sure you eat well, find time to exercise and get enough sleep if you possibly can. Our 5 Ways to Wellbeing course we run throughout the year gives helpful tips about this you can find out when the next one is running via our What’s On guide. If you are struggling to maintain your own wellbeing, you may find it helpful to talk to our wellbeing practitioner. Speak to one of our support workers who will put you in contact.
In time you may need help to look after the person you are caring for. This may mean having additional assistance with providing personal care, support with medication and helping with meals. If you already have care in place you may be able to increase this.
You can discuss this with a social worker during a Needs Assessment (see section above) and they can help you decide the next steps. Depending on your individual financial circumstances you may qualify for assistance with costs.