One of the most difficult times when caring for a person with dementia is the period before diagnosis according to a study published online in the British Medical Journal today (Thursday 19 August).
Researchers at University College London based the research on interviews with 89 carers from the Greater London area. Carers highlighted that they need help when the symptoms of dementia begin. The study found that a number of measures would make their lives easier including organising legal issues early on; involving a professional to persuade the person with dementia to accept help and emphasising that services can improve, rather than reduce, independence.
Alzheimer's Society comment:
'This study highlights just how stressful caring for a person with dementia can be. This stress is often compounded by the fact that many people with dementia struggle to get a formal diagnosis. It can be a particularly difficult time for carers as they may not be able to access the support or information they need.
'There are estimated to be 600,000 people in the UK acting as the main carers for people with dementia. As the number of people living with the condition continues to rise we must ensure carers receive support early on, help with day-to-day caring and get the chance to have a break.'
Interim Chief Executive