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What does caring for someone with dementia involve?

Published by Judy Cohen

Carers come from all walks of life. There are millions of people around the world that provide care on an unpaid basis for a relative, friend or neighbour in need of support due to old age, disability, frailty or illness. The population of carers is dynamic: at least a third of all people will fulfil a caring role at some point in their lives. At least half of all carers are in full or part time employment and some care for more than one person. Carers save the world economy billions of $  a year.

When people need help with their day-to-day living they often turn to their family and friends. Looking after each other is something that we do. Dependent on the dementia, carers will help with personal things like getting someone washed and dressed, administering their medication, taking control of running the household and finances.

It is important to maintain the independence of and enhance the quality of life for both the carer and the person with dementia. It will encourage them to concentrate on the things that can be done rather than the those which have been lost.

For many people caring comes unexpectedly and in a few short months your life can be turned upside down. Some people are caring round the clock, 24 hours a day. How caring affects you depends on how much you are doing, what else is going on in your life and to some extent what kind of a person you are.

Caring can be a rich source of satisfaction in people’s lives. It can be life-affirming. It can help deepen and strengthen relationships. It can teach you a multitude of skills and help you realise potential you never thought you had.

But without the right support caring can have a negative outcome. Research has shown that becoming a carer can have many impacts on a person’s life. When caring is intensive and unsupported you can struggle to stay healthy and maintain your relationships with friends and family. Other effects can include social isolation and poor health through stress and physical injury and worry over financial costs.



Join the Caring For The Caregivers- free support group, every last Wednesday of the month

at 7pm. help at Dementia Support Day Centre 1140 Sheppard Ave West# 12. Toronto, Ont

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