Getting care and support for dementia
There may be ways you can receive help and support, either now or in the future. You may be eligible for financial support, while local groups and later care could provide the support you need.
If you're a carer, see our page Caring for someone with dementia to find out more.
Where can I get more support?
Whether you're already receiving support and you feel you need some more, you don't currently feel supported or you would like to meet people who are going through a similar experience, local support groups can make a real difference.
- Memory cafés offer information and support in an informal setting. They allow you to meet up with others with dementia. You can attend with your carer and there are sometimes professional carers available to talk to in confidence.
- Creative workshops such as arts and crafts or music workshops allow you to continue doing the hobbies you enjoy or learn new ones while meeting new people.
- Specialist support groups can put you in contact with others so that you can talk about how you're feeling, and give advice on what to expect in the future.
- Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is a short-term programme for people with mild to moderate dementia and usually runs twice weekly for 7 weeks following diagnosis. Group members take part in meaningful and stimulating activities, proven to help maintain memory and mental functioning. Find out about local Age UKs running CST-related programmes.
- Day centres can provide company and things to do. Some are for older people with or without dementia and others are just for those with more advanced dementia.
Visit Alzheimer's Society's Find support near you page for more information about what is available locally.
Could I receive financial support?
Make sure you're receiving all the benefits you're entitled to. You may be entitled to disability benefit: either Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance depending on your age. These aren't means-tested so your income and savings won't be taken into account.
If you live alone you can apply for a 25% reduction on your Council Tax bill. Or, if you live with someone else, they may be entitled to a 25% discount on their Council Tax bill because of your dementia. As your dementia progresses, they may be entitled to a further 25% reduction.
If you have a carer they may be entitled to Carer's Allowance. However, if they claim it, any income-related benefits you receive, such as Pension Credit, may be reduced.
What extra money are you entitled to?
Do you know what benefits you are entitled to? Our Benefits Calculator can help you, quickly and easily, to find out what you could be claiming.
What if I need more help in the future?
You may feel yourself getting to a stage where you need more help. There are options available to you.
If you're having difficulty managing daily tasks or aspects of personal care, contact your local social services department and ask for a care needs assessment. They will provide you with information and advice, and look at what kind of help you need and decide what services could help.
If you qualify for help, you may be offered a personal budget. This is money from the council which you can use to arrange and pay for your care. The amount you pay will depend on the service you receive and where you live, as rules differ throughout the UK.
It's worth thinking about what you want to happen if your dementia progresses to a stage where you need a lot more help. It can be hard to think about this, but planning ahead should mean that your wishes are respected if you can't make that decision in the future. There's a range of options.
- Sheltered housing is specifically designed for older people. You live in your own accommodation but there is extra help available if you need it. If you have a partner, you can move in together.
- Extra-care housing is similar to sheltered accommodation but there's more help available. Services vary, but meals and personal care are often included. The cost depends on how much help you need. If you have a partner, you can move in together.
- Care homes offer personal care and some offer nursing care too. They are staffed 24 hours a day.