Alzheimer’s and dementia: Where to find support

Alzheimer’s and dementia: Where to find support
5 min read

When a dementia diagnosis comes, there is a lot to take into consideration, and it’s hard to know what to do and where to start.

There are a lot of charities out there who can help you find information, practical help and personalised advice. In this article, we look at some of these organisations, so that you can easily find the best charities and support groups to get in touch with, depending on what you need.

For an overview of the different types of dementia, their symptoms and some useful tips on living as well as possible with dementia, check out our Guide to living with dementia.

If you want to learn more about dementia

There are many free online resources you can browse if you wish to find out more about the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia, the risk factors and symptoms, and the various stages of the condition.

  • The Alzheimer’s Society website boasts a lot of information about the differences between the various types of dementia, as well as treatments and diagnosis. They are the leading dementia support and research charity in the UK, and their resources are very clear and easy to understand.

  • The NHS Dementia Guide features practical information about the condition and what it involves in a brief and accessible way.

  • Alzheimer’s Research UK is the country’s leading dementia research charity, dedicated to diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure. As a charity focused on scientific research, Alzheimer’s Research UK offers more in-depth and technical information compared to other organisations. If you wish to go into more detail about the causes of dementia and its symptoms, this is the right place for you.

  • If you wish to learn more about dementia and wish to raise awareness of the condition, Dementia Friends is the place to go. As part of the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Friends exist to change the way people think about dementia by challenging stereotypes and false beliefs. You can attend one of their information sessions to learn about the most common false beliefs about dementia and help them spread the word.

If you want to talk to someone about dementia

While you can probably find all the information you need online, there is nothing like having the chance to talk to a friendly voice, and being able to ask questions about what worries you in particular.

Many charities offer specialist helplines that are particularly useful if you have a specific question which needs to be answered as soon as possible, or simply if you feel you need to talk to someone.

Check out the list below for some of the best helplines for dementia; we are also listing some online forums where you can engage in conversations with other people living with dementia and share useful tips and advice.

  • Call the National Dementia Helpline, run by Alzheimer’s Society on 0300 222 11 22. Alternatively, you can join Talking Point, the Alzheimer’s Society’s online community where you can connect with other people with dementia and find advice.

  • The older people charity Age UK has an Advice Line which you can call for advice about dementia care. Call them directly on 0800 678 1602. If you or a loved one are suffering from loneliness as a result of dementia, you can also use their befriending services: with Call in Time, a volunteer befriender will phone an older person at an agreed time for a chat. Face-to-face befriending is also available in certain areas.

  • Call Dementia UK on 0800 888 6678 for advice about anything related to dementia.

  • Alternatively, you can also call the Alzheimer’s Research UK infoline on 0300 111 5 111.

  • If you are a professional carer or if you look after a family member with dementia, you can call Carers UK on 0808 808 7777 (only open on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10am to 4pm). They specialise in advice about carers assessments, employment rights, benefits and other services available for carers. You can also join the Carers UK Forum.

If you want to arrange dementia care

People with dementia are likely to require some form of care as their condition progresses, and it is not always easy to understand what type of support is best for you and your family.

  • Our dementia guide provides some useful information about the types of support available, from home care to residential care homes, assisted living and more. If you need help finding a suitable carer, you can call SuperCarers on 020 8629 1030, and our team will look for a specialised dementia home carer in your local area.

  • The Alzheimer’s Society has a section of their website about dementia care, with plenty of information about how to care for loved ones with dementia, as well as how to choose between care at home and residential care.

  • The Carers Trust boasts useful resources for families and carers about how to get a carers assessment and claim benefits.

If you or a family member have dementia, you may have to face financial and legal issues concerning how to pay for care, how to make a will and more. In these cases, it is very important to seek professional advice to help you make informed decisions.

  • Download our Funding Care Guide for information about local authority and NHS funding, state benefits, need assessments and how to fund your own care.

  • The Society of Later Life Advisers – SOLLA helps people find accredited financial advisers for financial needs in later life.

  • Contact Citizens’ Advice or check out their website for free legal and money advice. In England or Northern Ireland call 03444 111 444, in Wales 03444 77 20 20, in Scotland 0808 800 9060.

If you are looking for local support groups

Support groups in your local areas can connect you to other people in your same situation who can share experiences and advice. You can also get involved in charity fundraising events and take part in regular activities to feel more part of the community, and have someone always there to support you.

  • Search the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Directory to find dementia support near you.

  • Dementia UK can help you find local Admiral Nurses to provide specialist dementia support.

  • Find a Memory Café in your local area. These local groups, usually run by volunteers, are places to meet and talk to other people experiencing the same challenges and to find advice and guidance.