Dementia carers - our ambitious project to hear your experiences and ensure you have support

Caring for someone with dementia takes patience and kindness. It can also take its toll physically and mentally - and if it's a family member you may not get any time off. But is there anyone to care for the carer? Tell HW...your views matter.
dementia carer

HW Bristol and South Gloucestershire want to hear from dementia carers about what day-to-day life is like and what help they would ideally have to alleviate stress and help their mental wellbeing.

Many people caring for loved ones don’t always seek help as they don’t want to own up to any problems – fearing their 'charge' might be taken away into an alternative setting. This can also be an issue in BAME communities with language barriers another reason those caring for people with dementia don’t find support.

There are 850,000 people with one of the 200 different forms of dementia in the UK today and nearly 500,000 of these are being cared for at home. HW Bristol and South Gloucestershire want to hear these often untold stories to help hardworking, sometimes overworked carers, have their needs met too. Support is out there and, by working together on common issues, our project aims to help ensure more people find what they need to help them in their rewarding but often demanding role.

It can be physically and emotionally exhausting caring for a loved one, often for 24 hours a day – we are hoping to highlight the issues of stress and tiredness that lead to challenging mental health outcomes for carers. This is also an area of some health inequality as we know that communities that suffer disproportionately from dementia problems are also the least likely to seek help around carer needs.
— Bristol Area Lead Julie Bird

She added: “We know there are  some great networks  out there and we are lucky to be working with the best teams in the area regarding dementia but we really want to ensure this is about what matters to carers themselves.”

HW Bristol and South Gloucestershire also has plans to carry out co-production with carers or people with dementia themselves and are creating platforms in which to learn and share findings and solutions. The aim is to eventually build up resources and practical guidance pathways.

Our work has a reputation for making a real difference and we want this project to continue that tradition – if you would like to take part in a discussion, share your experience or influence the project focus please contact Julie Bird on;- project@healthwatchbnssg.co.uk You can remain anonymous if you prefer.

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You can help make health and care services better by sharing your experiences and ideas.

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