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Rossendale Dementia Carers' Strategy

 

Start of the journey

  • Are you unsure if the person you care for is displaying signs of changes in condition or memory loss?
  • Have a look at NHS Symptoms of Dementia www.nhs.uk
  • Do you, as a Carer, need help to manage these changes or symptoms?
  • The Made in Haslingden Carers resource page offers information on local and national organisations who can help, available here or via our leaflet.
  • Dementia UK factsheets  (a-z list of topics) www.dementiauk.org


Pre diagnosis

  • Before you go to your GP, make carer's notes to take along to the appointment with you.
  • Speak to your GP and ask for a joint appointment, preferably face to face.
  • Include in your notes: symptoms, impact on life, safety/risk factors, medications, other health conditions, concerns.
  • If possible, speak to your GP without your Cared for person, to explain why you need to explore further the changes you have noticed. Emphasise the difference in behaviour and point this out to the GP as a matter of concern to you as the Carer.
  • Ask your GP to make a referral to the Memory Assessment Service. You need a GP referral to do this.


Assessment

Memory Assessment Service (MAS) Provided by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust:

lscft.nhs.uk

*Please be aware that this process can take some time, depending on how the patient shows symptoms*

The team run memory assessment sessions and provides assessment and diagnosis for people with suspected dementia. You may be asked to take your Cared for person for a brain scan to help in the diagnostic process.

Following diagnosis, the team may ask to see you again to monitor any medication the recommend and provide you with a named case manager.


Diagnosis 

Memory Assessment Service (MAS) They will provide you with an introductory pack with information about support you can access to help you now, plan for the future or invite you to a post diagnostic group.

  • At this point, Alzheimers Society UK will have been informed of the diagnosis and will ring you to discuss your situation and signpost to services (0333 150 3456)

The aim is to provide you with the skills to understand and manage the illness and enable people to be cared for at home for as long as possible.


Post diagnosis

Age UK Lancashire Dementia Services: 

Are there to make sure you have all the right information and offer advice and support for the person with dementia and the carer to make plans for the future. It is important to do this a soon as possible and while the person living with dementia can make decisions for themselves, so that this does not become an additional challenge for the carer and family.

  • Important documents such as will and Lasting Power of Attorney (both health and financial)
  • Claiming the right benefits such as Carer’s Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Council Tax discount
  • Getting the right support in place (Carers, respite arrangements)
  • Do you have a document/Peace of Mind (Carers Link 01254 387444) plan which informs the people who need to know and act in an emergency for both the person living with dementia and the carer? (such as family, neighbours, alternative carers). 

Legalities

  • If a will isn’t already in place, now is the time to arrange one.
  • Arrange Power of Attorney for financial and medical affairs

The sooner this is done, the better! Can be done at any stage but must be done while the loved one still understands what the action is and why it is being put in place. Contact your family solicitor or for a local solicitor, the Law Society can recommend local solicitors who deal with Power of Attorney. Please note that any changes to the document (such as appointing further family members) will mean that the full fee is payable a second time.

However, you can arrange Power of Attorney yourself. Make, register or end a lasting Power of Attorney – www.gov.uk


Information sources

In no particular order: contact details of organisations that may be able to help you

Age UK Lancashire Tel 0300 303 1234 or www.ageuklancs.org.uk

Age Uk Lancashire provide an all round service, you do not need to be referred to find out information about what to do next. They can explain all the support that will be needed should there be a diagnosis of dementia. They can provide support through the process with hospitals and specialists.

Rossendale Borough Council for council tax allowances, A-Z of services. Telephone number 01706 217777

The Silver Line - Aimed at older people but not exclusive, offers a telephone befriending service and can also arrange weekly visiting service. 0800 470 8090 www.thesilverline.org.uk

Rossendale Memory Choir – Weekly choir sessions for those with a mild to moderate dementia www.rossendalememorychoir.org John Rattigan at Crossroads (01282 832548)

Made in Haslingden – hello@madeinhaslingden.org, Carers Café. Also see Carers' Resource.

Carers Link supports unpaid carers across Lancashire, 0345 688 7116, 01254 387444 info@carerslinklancashire.co.uk

Dementia UK (Admiral Nurses) telephone support line 0800 8886678Age Uk Lancashire 0300 303 1234 www.ageuklancs.org.uk

Samaritans telephone support line 116123

Lancashire County Council Social Care Service (0300 123 6720)

Rossendale and Hyndburn Citizens Advice 0344 488 9622 www.citizensadvice.org.uk




This Strategy was created by the Made In Haslingden Carers' Group. It's aim is to provide and support other carers.

With grateful thanks to Jane, Margaret, David, Karen, Janet and Rachel for their time, research and desire to help others.