Managing people living with Alzheimer’s or dementia by yourself can be incredibly tough whether you are a family member, or professional carer.

With the continuous research into ways to support and alleviate the symptoms of the disease, it is important for carers to stay up to date on the latest information available regarding dementia health. Information, guidance and support groups are available across South Africa for those involved with caring for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Below are a useful set of tips depending on the stage you might find yourself in.

  1. Worried About Dementia? If you’re concerned that a loved one might be showing symptoms of dementia, the first step is to consult your family doctor or GP. He or she will talk to you, discuss your concerns and do an initial assessment. You may then be referred to a specialist or a memory clinic for further assessment. Find further dementia information services here.
  2. Need To Chat With Like Minded People? Most people will not understand the full extent of what you are going through physically or emotionally. It may help to discuss what you’re going through, or struggling with in a group of like minded individuals. Livewell offers dementia support groups for people that may be in similar situations to yourself. Carers, family members and trained staff in a confidential and safe space. These groups are in person and happen weekly in various areas, but if you are unable to physically attend, we also provide a private support group on Facebook.
  3. Need a Break? Caring for someone with dementia can be challenging. If you need or want to take a break from your care role, there are respite and support services and programs you can use. Livewell offers a Dementia Day Care facility for short, or extended stays, to help carers take a much needed break to refuel.
  4. Need an Ear? If you are caring for someone with dementia, you can get free counselling, support and advice from Alzheimer’s South Africa and Dementia SA. There are two 24-hour national dementia helplines available in South Africa: 0860 102 681 and 0860 636 679.
  5. Considering a Specialised Facility? If you’re considering longer term care with specialised facilities and qualified staff, take a tour of the Livewell Village and potentially consider booking your loved one into longer term, specialised care.

The journey may be challenging, but there are many dementia health and information services and resources available to those caring for loved ones with this disease.

Should you be considering a specialised Alzheimer’s or dementia care facility for a loved one, speak to one of our trained family advisors for assistance.