Maureen Winfield is a volunteer ambassador for Dementia UK, one of the carers that our Admiral Nurses support and a carer for her husband with dementia. Maureen answers some of our questions in light of National Dementia Carers Day on 9 September.
What is a typical day as a carer?
Unfortunately there is no such thing as a typical day when caring for a loved one living with dementia. No two days are alike because of the unpredictable nature of the disease, but generally we make sure needs are met by providing meals and assistance with personal care and medication. Safety is our main priority and providing general care and emotional support is 24/7.
Even though my husband is now in a nursing home I still continue to care for him. I visit on a daily basis, usually at lunch time to make sure he has his lunch and to ensure his needs are generally being met. I can still be a voice for him.
What are the main ways you support someone living with dementia?
My main aim is to give emotional and practical support.
What advice would you give to others who are new to a caring role?
Firstly you must ensure your own health needs are being met. Attend a dementia support group and speak with other carers who are also experiencing caring for a loved one living with dementia. Seek professional advice and, if possible, request the service of an Admiral Nurse if one is available in your area.
You can also contact Dementia UK Admiral Nurse helpline who will direct you to the appropriate services to assist you. Learn as much as you can about the condition in order to give yourself a better understanding of the impact dementia can have on the whole family.
Why is it important that we support National Dementia Carers Day?
It is important that we acknowledge and raise awareness for the huge number of informal and family carers who are dedicated in providing care and support to people living with dementia on a daily basis and who are very often unpaid.
If you’re a carer and you would like some advice and support, please contact our Admiral Nurses on 01484 343126.