Dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s in the family – even more so if you’ve never encountered a sufferer before – can be an incredibly taxing and stressful time in your life. Regardless of how close you were or still are to the affected party, it will have some sort of effect on your life. However if the family member is a very close relative; Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, you will see a daily effect on your own life, especially if you live close to or with them. The disease affects sufferers in different instances of severity, but in most cases the outcome is the same and it can be heart-breaking.

However it is important to stay strong for your afflicted family member, in order to make sure that their last experiences – whether over the next few years, months, or even weeks – are filled with happy and fond memories. Some family members may want to distance themselves from what is occurring, but this can take an awful toll on the individual. Support is there if you need it, you simple need to know where to look.

  1. Finding Strength in Your Family

“Charity starts at the home” Is a phrase often uttered and in some cases it could be applicable here. It is important to remember that while it can be a very difficult time for you; you are not alone in this process. If the family member was well known, with many relatives and good friends, you can turn to them for help and assistance, both physically and emotionally. However, it would be good to take into consideration, that perhaps not all family members will be willing to provide emotional support as this can be a tough time for them as well. Tread lightly when in doubt.

  1. Legal Support

If you find you are struggling either physically or financially with caring for your afflicted family member, there are solicitors and legal companies who will be able to provide you with professional support to help keep you on your feet. These solicitors are often highly experienced in assisting vulnerable members of society and offer a number of mental health services designed to make the lives easier of both afflicted members and family members.

They can help to arrange hospital appointments, travel to and from the hospital, professional advice in times of stress and can arrange for psychiatric help where necessary. They are a wealthy resource and while they can be quite dear, it does not come without highly recommended help.

  1. Part Time Carers

Take your time to research well-known local carers who will take some time off your hands if you are struggling with caring for your family member. Often there are local organisations who will help to pair you with a professional carer, who will come to your home and take care of the family member while you are away. In some cases this can be preferable to other forms of support, as you can establish a working relationship with the carer and they are specifically qualified to assist your family member in any way they can.

  1. Support From Charities

Organisations set up to help provide extra support for families with Alzheimer’s or Dementia cases can really help with day-to-day life. For those caring for the afflicted family member, these charities can also be a wealthy resource of hints and tips and what to do when times are hard. For every individual who is seeing the effects of Dementia or Alzheimer’s for the first time, it can be tough to cope alone. These resources address key questions and provide methods of coping that will help everyone involved.

  1. Building Your Own Network

Networking is always important. Whether in business, social or professional situations networking provides a series of useful connections that can really help you in times of need. By building your own support network you will be able to draw from more resources in order to help your family member, which can be essential in dire situations.

At the end of the day, it is up to you whether or not you decide to take an active stance in seeking support for your family members and yourself during this difficult time. Professional charities and legal organisations can make the burden slightly easier to bear with support groups and compensation, but unfortunately the hard part is in your hands. Try to enjoy the time you have left together with your loved one, if you can. Article provided by, an independent full service law firm offering specialised legal advice to private clients since 1966.