In the UK, as it currently stands, there are in the region of 850,000 people living with dementia. 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. (Alzheimers.org.uk).
Daybreak Oxford runs three dementia day clubs for Oxfordshire residents, providing essential cognitive stimulation therapy, hot lunches, companionship and a lot of fun and care to our members, and advice and support for the loved ones who care for them at home.
September is host to National Carer’s Day and is also Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, so we’d like to share some feedback from a survey our family carers completed recently.
These results have been collated from all three of our day clubs; Lilacs in Kidlington, Rosewood in Blackbird Leys and Limes in Central Oxford.
90% of participants either agree or strongly agree that Daybreak clubs are welcoming, with caring approachable staff and offer good activities, information on dementia and the condition, and are overall satisfied with our provision of care.
Family carers also need support
The Carers UK State of Caring Report 2015 highlights the impact caring can have on people’s health. Of the 4,500 carers surveyed:
• The vast majority (82%) reported that caring has had a negative impact on their own health
• 84% said they felt more stressed and 78% more anxious as a result of their caring role
• More than half (55%) reported that they have suffered from depression
• Nearly half (47%) said they struggle to maintain a balanced diet
• Four in ten (41%) have experienced an injury or their physical health has suffered
‘Carers are grossly underappreciated by society. We do not always acknowledge what they do and also the cost this sometimes has for them. Daybreak are committed to supporting carers in every way we can.’ Lindsay Manifold, Community Fundraiser, Daybreak.
Adjusting to life after a dementia diagnosis for their loved one can often be difficult for family members. They may find their role in that person’s life changes from child, spouse, lover or companion, into that of a carer. It Is not uncommon for feelings of guilt to affect a carer. Loneliness, isolation and a feeling of helplessness often creep in too.
Not only does a Daybreak Club offer time for the carer to themselves, where you can rest, take part in your own beloved activities or work, but our staff are there to give practical advice and support to help you deal with the way your life is changing.
Daybreak takes care of you in your role of carer, as much as we take care of your loved one when you need respite.
‘Winston really enjoys Daybreak because it’s something he has complete ownership of, so it’s always me and him. When he comes here it’s like he’s going out with friends and on a selfish level, it’s great that I get a few hours respite’ Ian Osborne, son and carer.
Advice and support from Daybreak
The dementia advice page on our website contains useful links to charities and organisations that offer assistance and information to people affected by dementia, including;
Young Dementia UK: https://www.youngdementiauk.org/
Apart from offering support to younger people with dementia in Oxfordshire, their website also has a lot of general information
Dementia Oxford: http://www.dementiaoxfordshire.org.uk/
Offer advice for people and their families affected by dementia, and also have dementia advisers who make contact on a six-monthly basis
Alzheimer’s Society: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20033/publications_and_factsheets
Useful Factsheets on issues relating to dementia and carers
Offer advice service to carers including practical and financial support
Carers Oxfordshire: http://www.carersoxfordshire.org.uk/cms/
as above. Can carry out a Carers Assessment to see what support may be appropriate (eg local support groups, possible funding)
An advice service which covers a range of information on local services, equipment etc, including a telephone advice service