Carer Services

I care for someone with dementia

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: dementiacarers@birminghamcarershub.org.uk

Dementia Cafe

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.

Caring for Carers Dementia Support Groups (in partnership with Crossroads)

We are pleased to announce that Birmingham Carers Hub is now offering 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:

  • Cotteridge, Tuesdays, 2pm – 4pm
  • Quinton, Tuesdays, 11am – 1pm
  • Yardley Wood, Wednesdays, 11am – 1pm
  • Handsworth Wood, Thursdays, 11am – 1pm
  • Kings Heath, Thursdays, 2pm – 4pm

Caring for Carers Dementia Support Zoom Group

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.

To join the support group on Tuesdays at 11am click here
To join the support group on Tuesdays at 6.30pm click here
To join the support group on Thursdays at 11am click here

Caring for Carers Dementia Support Training

As part of this new service, Carers will also be able to access FREE online dementia training to suit where they are on their individual caring journey. A greater awareness of dementia and the support available can help you and your family to deal with the everyday challenges that you may face.

There are six different online training modules for Carers to pick and choose from available on Tuesdays, dates and times are available on our What’s On page here.

  • Understanding Dementia
  • Communication and Behaviour
  • Everyday Living
  • The Impact of Infection
  • Life Planning
  • Physical and Mental Wellbeing

To find out more about the training available call 0121 553 6483, option; 7 for Birmingham Dementia Training or call 0333 006 9711.

Caring for Someone with Dementia During the Pandemic
The number of people calling the Dementia UK helpline has risen by 44% during lockdown. One common question asked is, how do I stop the person I care for from leaving the house? Dementia UK has some really useful tips in this leaflet. However, if none of these methods work and your loved one insists on leaving the house, assess the level of distress this would cause; it may be better to go for a short walk following social distancing advice, return home followed by thorough hand washing. With activities and support groups suspended and other forms of respite and help reduced or ended, Carers are at risk of burning out due to the demands of caring 24/7.

Dementia UK makes a valid point for all Carers,
“It can be useful to think of looking after yourself as a Carer as a bit like giving first aid, or putting the oxygen mask on during a flight emergency: look after yourself first, so that you have the strength to look after those around you.”

Alzheimer’s Society has put together five tips to benefit your wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic and Dementia UK has some very good advice in their leaflet – Looking after yourself when you care for someone with dementia, during the coronavirus outbreak which you may find helpful.

Things to do to stay occupied 

  • 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

Helpful Products
The Alzheimer’s Society has a range of helpful products designed to help people with dementia and their Carers to be more comfortable in their homes, whilst supporting independence and safety. 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. People with dementia and family and friends buying on their behalf can purchase many products at the cheaper VAT relief price.  Please read the Alzheimer’s Society’s advice on choosing the right products to help people living with dementia. Download the catalogue and take a look.

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.

For more information call Midland Mencap Family Support on 0121 442 2944.

Carer Services

Below you can find out about support relating to specific caring situations