In this guide, we’ve covered how to find dementia carer support groups near you, professionally, or locally, to provide a community that understands what you and your family are going through.
Despite there being over 500,000 dementia carers in the UK, for anyone providing care to a loved one with dementia, it can be an incredibly isolating experience. That’s why a support group can be an invaluable resource to access as a carer.
What do dementia carer support groups do?
Many people unexpectedly fall into the role of a carer when a loved one is diagnosed with a condition that requires additional support and care in their daily life. In this case, that means being diagnosed with dementia.
Being a dementia carer can mean a lot of change, stress, and new demands on you. It can mean having to reduce your working hours (or leave full-time employment altogether), and often can mean putting your loved one first above your own well-being.
Naturally, this can be a big change, and there is no shame in admitting that it can be overwhelming at times.
A support group can:
- Connect you with other dementia carers living the same experience
- Provide you with a network of healthcare professionals to ask questions
- Offer an way into more training as a dementia carer
- Give you a greater understanding of dementia and your role as a carer
- Provide you with a sounding board to share your experiences and feelings
How to find dementia carer support groups:
The following organisations have national directories to help you find support groups that are local to you.
Age UK Dementia Support Directory
Age UK focuses on helping the older people in our community, and of course, a large percentage of people living with dementia fall into this category. The Age UK dementia support directory lists what dementia support your local Age UK network provides in your area.
This directory is for both dementia carers and people living with dementia, so will cover support groups for family and friends, as well as day care centres, activities, and classes near you.
Alzheimer’s Society Local Directory
Alzheimer’s Disease is the main type of dementia that people are most commonly diagnosed with, so Alzheimer’s Society provide support for this form of dementia primarily, but can be a fantastic resource for anyone living with dementia and their carers. This directory again provides information on local support services available to dementia carers and people with dementia.
Carers UK Local Directory
Carers UK provides national support for carers, and have this local directory to provide information on the local carer organisations that run support services in your local area.
Carer Support Hubs
If you do an online search for ‘carer support hubs’ in your local area, you’ll find a number of services and hubs available to carers near you. These can be dementia carer specific or more general, but all provide a place to find a community of other unpaid carers, connect with healthcare professionals, and get any additional support you might need.
Alzheimer’s Association’s online community, ALZConnected, is a free network where people living with Alzheimer’s and their carers can find support, ask for advice, and get any questions answered.
Alzheimer’s Association is an international organisation headquartered in the US, so you’ll find support internationally here.
Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Talking Point
Dementia Talking Point is an online forum hosted by Alzheimer’s Society. The service is free, online, and available 24/7.
Other types of dementia carer support groups
Young Dementia Support
Young Dementia Support has an excellent resource listing the many local and national support groups available to young people living with dementia and their caregivers.
Rare Dementia Support
Rare Dementia provides regular meetings for people living with rarer forms of dementia and their carers. These support groups operate both online and face-to-face.