There are an estimated 800,000 friends or family members in the UK who care for a growing number of people with dementia. These carers enable people with dementia to maintain a sense of love, belonging, well being, safety, hygiene, nourishment, identity, and self-esteem. Dementia Carers Count supports these carers with services – such as courses and Individual Support Plans – to help them better manage their caring role and to look after themselves, as well as the person they care for.
Research commissioned through King’s College London and the London School of Economics in 2014 estimated the annual financial value of dementia carers’ contribution to the economy to be a staggering £11bn per annum. Despite this, there is currently no central resource focusing on the needs of dementia carers.
The caring responsibilities of many dementia carers unfold in silence and in a never-ending time zone. In most situations, a dementia carer is so immersed in the daily routine of caring for the person with dementia that s/he does not ‘see’ herself or himself as a dementia carer, and is not aware of her/his own support needs. Many dementia carers find themselves experiencing high levels of stress, depressive symptoms, isolation, quiet despair, loneliness, poor physical health, lack of optimism about future, and a sense of having to sacrifice some or all of their own life aspirations. Many lack the skills and the time needed to fulfil their own personal needs.
Dementia Carers Count aims to build the future for all family carers of people with dementia, so that they can receive the support they need. We aim to establish the first Dementia Carers Centre – a residential hub for skills training, conferences, counselling, specialist individualised assessments and plans, specialised one day events, networking and exhibitions for carers.
We need your support to make the Dementia Carers Centre happen, and also to sustain all of the services that we currently offer.