Dementia Care at Home – A New Guide for Family Caregivers

There are currently more than 40,000 people in Ireland with some form of dementia. But behind the headlines there are ...

There are currently more than 40,000 people in Ireland with some form of dementia. But behind the headlines there are another 50,000 people whose lives are also affected. They are the forgotten heroes of Alzheimer’s disease and other memory related conditions: the family caregivers who work each day caring for loved ones who are no longer able to care for themselves.

For the carers, stress is a constant. When they eventually burn out, emotionally or physically, the lives of those they are caring for often follow suit.  While many outreach efforts target the sufferers of dementia, there is little available to help the caregiver who may feel isolated and overwhelmed by their responsibilities. That’s why Home Instead Senior Care has published a new information guide specifically for carers of people with dementia. Entitled, Dementia Care at Home: A Guide for Family Caregivers, it explains of the basic facts about the different forms of the condition, it looks at practical ways of dealing with some of the most common issues associated with the disease. It also gives insight into how the person with dementia feels and reacts to certain situations so the family caregiver can better understand their behaviour.

‘Dementia Care at Home’ was compiled by Joanne Flood, a Registered Psychiatric Nurse with eleven years experience in dementia care. Speaking about the new guide, Joanne Flood RGN said: “It’s normal for a caregiver to feel stressed, frustrated and even irritated by their loved one but they frequently feel tremendous guilt as well and this adds to their stress. They need to know these are perfectly natural responses to an incredibly difficult situation This booklet is an excellent resource for family caregivers struggling to care for loved ones living with a dementia.””.

Also speaking about the new guide for family caregivers, Ed Murphy of Home Instead Senior Care said: “Every day we see the role stress plays in the lives of family caregivers who are trying to do too much with too few resources”, he says. . We realised there was a need for information specifically for them. We already have a large volume of practical information available which we use for our specialist Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care training programme for our caregivers. It made sense for us to utilise this and present it in a way that would be useful to the family members involved in providing care. Just seeing in print some of the problems they face on a daily basis and knowing they are not alone can be of enormous benefit to people”.

By the very nature of the disease, most of the people who suffer from dementia are aged over 65, the sector of the population which is increasing most rapidly. Unless there is a medical breakthrough, by 2036 the number of people with dementia in Ireland is expected to increase by more than 300 per cent, while the total population increases by less than 40 per cent. Since relatives are the primary source of care for Irish seniors this means that caregiving will become a fact of life for a much greater number of people.

Log on to or call 1890 930 013 to order a FREE copy of ‘Dementia Care at Home: A Guide for Family Caregivers’.

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