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I care for someone with dementia
Birmingham Carers Hub offers a range of support to those who look after someone living with dementia. There is support available online or if you prefer, you also have the option of meeting other Carers like you at a local venue.
Learn about Dementia
Whether the person that you love has just had a diagnosis or you have been caring for someone with dementia for a long time, there is always something new to learn. If you are armed with as much knowledge about dementia as possible it will help those with dementia live a happier life but also make your role as a Carer easier too.
Dementia Carers Count (DCC) is a new delivery partner of Birmingham Carers Hub providing expert advice exclusively to Carers so you can freely and confidentially share your experiences. If you are a Carer registered with Birmingham Carers Hub you can access FREE five different online learning sessions (don’t worry, there’s no test) with an opportunity to chat to other Carers. There are three different face-to-face workshops with lunch included and you can access the Virtual Carers Centre resource any time, day or night.
Online learning sessions can be taken in any order and cover five different themes:
- The brain and dementia
- Coping with changes in behaviour
- Every day challenges to health
- Physical health
- Transitions in to care
The face-to-face workshops will be held 10am until 4pm at Touchbase Pears Business Centre, 750 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6NA. Carers will have the opportunity to learn at a deeper level, learn some practical skills, make friends and enjoy free lunch and refreshments. Research has shown that the workshops have had a positive impact on Carers and their ability to carry on with their caring role.
- Wednesday 6 July 2022: Caring about Meaningful Activity
- Thursday 15 September 2022: Caring about Stress and Distress
- Tuesday 18 October 2022: Caring about Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Difficulties
How to access Dementia Carers Count
Firstly, you will need to be a Carer registered with Birmingham Carers Hub, secondly you will need to click here and complete a short online registration form. When you have completed this form and created a password, each time you log on to Dementia Carers Counts website you will be able to see what topics you have already covered and book new sessions. If you have difficulty booking these sessions online, call Dementia Carers Count on 020 3096 7895 or drop them an email – email@example.com
Birmingham Carers Hub Specialist Dementia Service
The Birmingham Carers Hub advice line is operated by Age Concern Birmingham, based in Boldmere. The team have all received enhanced dementia training and certificated Dementia Care training at Level 2 with Sutton Coldfield Training (SCT) to further increase their knowledge and awareness. The new service builds on existing support with the appointment of a small team of Specialist Dementia Carer Advisors.
We offer a Dementia Specialist person-centred service, supporting Carers who provide care to someone with dementia. With personal experience and professional training in dementia, our advisors understand the challenges of caring and are here to guide and support you throughout your caring journey.
We’ll provide specialist one to one support, information and advice, from the point of registration and throughout your caring journey. Benefit from:
- An allocated advisor
- Assistance with obtaining Power of Attorney and will advice
- Support with Blue Badge applications
- Advocacy service including support with Social Services,GP’s, Memory Assessment Teams, District Nurses, Occupational Health Therapy etc
- Support with respite care, care homes and care agencies
- Ongoing health and wellbeing checks
- Support and information to access dementia clinics
- Referrals to the Bereavement Service
- Specialist advice and information on explaining dementia, behaviour, infection control, eating and drinking and end of life care
- Statutory and Enhanced Carer’s Assessment, to help establish what support is required
For information, help and advice, call 0333 006 9711 and ask to speak to one of our Specialist Dementia Carer Advisors, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Groups at a Venue
Looking after somebody with dementia can feel exhausting and you may feel quite lonely especially if the dynamics of the relationship with the person that you provide care for has changed. Meeting with other people in the same position as you can be a great comfort, it can provide a period of respite and opportunity to socialise and make new friends. Depending on your preference or circumstances, you can meet other Carers at a venue near you or have the convenience of meeting online from the comfort of your own home.
Birmingham Carers Hub offers support to those who are caring for someone with dementia through a partnership with Forward Carers and Crossroads. Crossroads brings vast experience and expertise of running dementia carer groups in Birmingham, having operated four weekly dementia support groups (called DISC) in Harborne, Handsworth Wood, Sheldon and Sutton Coldfield for the past eight years. Face to face Carer support groups have now safely resumed and are available on the following days and locations:
- Sutton Coldfield, Mondays 11am – 1pm
- Cotteridge, Tuesdays, 2pm – 4pm
- Yardley Wood, Wednesdays, 11am – 1pm
- Handsworth Wood, Thursdays, 11am – 1pm
Online support groups run on Tuesday evenings and on Thursday mornings, details are on our What’s On page.
Age Concern Birmingham hosts a dementia cafe for Carers who support a loved one living with dementia. Held at the Communitea Cafe in Boldmere every Tuesday, (76-78 Boldmere road, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham B73 5TJ) both the Carer and their loved one can enjoy stimulating activities and socialise with others. The Birmingham Carers Hub Specialist Dementia Advisors will be there to provide advice or just to offer a friendly listening ear to Carers.
Support Groups Online
Virtual support groups are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 11am until 12 noon and on Tuesday evening at 6.30pm. These ‘virtual meetings’ will give you the opportunity to speak to other carers in a similar situation to yourself, share experiences and listen. Led by our experienced Dementia Group Co-ordinator, Barbara, the group will also be a place which will provide direction, information, emotional support and signposting to appropriate help, wherever you are on your caring journey.
To join the meeting, you will need a phone, tablet, laptop or computer with access to Wi-Fi. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, please don’t worry, here is a step by step guide on how to set up Zoom and use Zoom to chat with other Carers either with the camera on or off.
There are lots of useful products that are designed to help people with dementia and their Carers to be more comfortable in their homes, whilst supporting independence and safety. The Alzheimer’s Society has some advice on how to choose the right product as well as a range of helpful products. These include reminder clocks to keep track of time, easy to use telephones and simple music players, games and activities that support enjoyment, independence, communication and quality of life.
Their products are tested and reviewed by people living with dementia and their Carers. For example, one Carer panel looked at a range of products that are designed to help people with dementia know what time it is and when they need to do things. Read about their review here. People with dementia and family and friends buying on their behalf can purchase many products at the cheaper VAT relief price. Download the catalogue and take a look.
Things to occupy the person you care for
- ChatterPack has a great list of free, online, boredom-busting resources!
- Play dementia friendly games and activities
- The Alzheimer’s Society has suggestions for digital and online activities for people living with dementia as well as activities in and around the home
- To help your loved one, play music that they can relate to, you can listen to Music for Dementia here https://m4dradio.com/ or on your Alexa or Echo Smart speaker
- The Black Dementia Company sells puzzles and activity books with imagery and topics selected specially for people with African or Caribbean heritage
Growing Older with Learning Disabilities and Dementia (GOLDD)
People with a learning disability are, unfortunately, more at risk of developing dementia – particularly those living with Down’s syndrome. Often individuals with a learning disability develop early-onset dementia, which is dementia in a person under 65-years-old, and their dementia can progress more rapidly, or at least appear to progress more rapidly if timely diagnosis isn’t made. Further information is available here.
GOLDD is another service that has been added to the Birmingham Carers Hub offer. Through a partnership with Forward Carers, Midland Mencap will help to deliver the new Birmingham Dementia Carers Pathway. Midland Mencap has a long history of working on the city’s G.O.L.D.D agenda, supporting both working age adults with a learning disability and dementia and their family carers as they grow older together.
This is a unique opportunity to work together to co-produce a mix of opportunities for GOLDD Carers to engage with each other and benefit from: information, advice and guidance, health and wellbeing workshops, GOLDD Creative Arts, GOLDD Café, GOLDD wellbeing walks. In addition, there will be a range of accessible and tailored indoor and outdoor activities for Carers, or as a family with the people they care for.