Over the last 20 years at Carers Leeds we have supported hundreds of unpaid carers that look after someone with dementia. During this time we have identified a real need for additional support for the person with dementia to allow the carer time and opportunity to get support for themselves.

In recent months, we have developed a blossoming partnership with Dementia specialist support teams in Leeds to address this need. The Leeds Memory Support service was set up in October 2015 and the aim of the service is to ensure that everyone living with dementia is able to access meaningful information, advice and support.

A diagnosis of dementia can be a scary thing for both the individual and the carer. The great aspect of this partnership is that whilst Carers Leeds support the carer through their specialist Dementia team, a Memory Support Worker helps to reassure the person with dementia, help to rebuild lost confidence and helps them to access services that an be a vital lifeline.

The Memory Support workers and I communicate regularly to ensure we are both referred in to a family who would benefit from support; so together we can provide the best possible service. It’s really valuable to be able to discuss a case and gain insight into the experiences and needs of both the carer and the person with dementia.

One of my clients who attends a Carers Leeds Dementia Carer support group told me

“Having the Memory Support Worker visit my husband once we had been discharged from the Memory Service was such a help.  She talked to Bob about his concerns and he communicated really well with her.  She helped us by suggesting we buy a clock showing the day, date and time which has been a real boon.  She also advised us to apply for Attendance Allowance and council tax discount.

The care and support I received from the Dementia Carer Support Worker at Carers Leeds was excellent too. I attend the Dementia Carer Support Group on a monthly basis which often lifts my spirits. We pick up lots of information and tips on coping with dementia – we get to have a laugh too. I know that I can always ring them if I need help.  And having both the Dementia Carer Support Worker and the Memory Support worker to assist us, has been of real benefit.

To find out more information or to get support call Carers Leeds on 0113 380 4300.

Alison Smith