As Caregiver-in-Chief at Unforgettable, I am delighted that you have chosen to join our ‘Caregivers’ Club’.

One of the benefits of membership of the ‘Caregivers’ Club’ is a ‘Guide to Dementia Services. I shall be providing this guide in the coming weeks to help you navigate your way through the complexities of the health and social care system, helping you find services and support to meet your needs.

This is one of the most common questions I am asked: what support is available to families prior to and after diagnosis, and how do we find services that are right for us in the locality where we live?

Services vary in different geographical areas, and referral criteria are not always consistent.

Likewise, everyone’s experience with dementia is different: what is right for one person with dementia, at a given point in the progression of the condition, will not necessarily be appropriate for another person at a similar stage.

However, some general guidelines apply, and, in the forthcoming weeks, I shall be providing information to all members of the ‘Caregivers’ Club’ about the services that you should ask for and what you can expect.

This will include:

* The role of the GP
* Memory assessment services
Neurology services
Post-diagnostic support
Dementia Advisors
Admiral Nurses
Arts and recreation projects
Community organisations
Faith-based support

Care services
Respite care

Live-in care
   * Domiciliary care
   * Residential care
   * Nursing homes

*NHS and social care provision
Social Services
   * Community Mental Health Teams
   * Admiral Nurses
Hospitals

End of Life care
   * Palliative care services
   * Hospice care
   * Carers services
   * Bereavement support

I hope the guidance that I can offer will be useful to you.

As always, I shall be pleased to receive feedback from members of the ‘Caregivers’ Club’ and will be happy to write about your experiences in my blog and feature case studies of good services in the ‘Caregivers’ Club’ newsletter. Please feel free to get in touch at askbarbara@unforgettable.org or by telephone at the Unforgettable office.

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