Current estimates suggest that there are about 800,000 dementia carers in the UK who care for a growing number of people who live with dementia, often close family members. Dementia carers enable those living with dementia to maintain a sense of love, belonging, wellbeing, safety, hygiene, nourishment, identity, and self-esteem. However, the dementia carers’ immense contribution in the lives of people with dementia and in the country’s economy are often inadequately acknowledged and valued.
A 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 focussing 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.
The Society for Dementia Carers aims to build the future for all dementia cares so that they can receive the skills and support they need. We aim to establish the first National Resource Centre for Dementia Carers in Birmingham. The Resource Centre will offer highly specialised residential training courses and support services for dementia carers delivered by a multidisciplinary professional team of clinical experts and dementia practitioners. The National Resource Centre for Dementia will be a residential hub for skills training, conferences, counselling, specialist individualised assessments and plans, specialised one day events, networking and exhibitions for all dementia cares.
The Resource Centre is a ground-breaking and pioneering national initiative and we need your support to make it happen.