Alzheimers support for carers
As professional counsellors, we are equipped to deal with counselling interventions for ranges of clients.
Long term conditions (LTCs) such as Alzheimer’s disease are managed by clients and their support teams, however, carers are sometimes forgotten. They often manage the majority of domestic flows at home twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
New figures released by the Office Of National Statistics show that for the first time, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are the leading cause of death for England and Wales. Of the 529,655 deaths registered during 2015, dementia accounted for 61,686 (11.6%).
Well-being advice and education continues to be critical for sufferers, their families and carers. The illness is complex, the impact on quality of life can be significant. Health promotion continues to develop in this field, topics such as diet and exercise are important as well as activities recommended to aid cognitive function like daily crosswords, phone app puzzles, mindfulness colouring books etc and now added functions on smartphones aiming to help those affected to live a more fulfilling life.
Community support memory cafes are popping up in villages and towns with benefits for sufferers and their carers. The Café can be a life line for many, a really helpful place to access resources, reduce stress and sometimes deal with social isolation.
A range of charities specifically supporting Alzheimer’s sufferers offer updates on treatments, research and new publications.
As professionals being mindful of the complexity and impact of long term conditions is important. Carers often hold the burden at home, hence resourceful signposting is important.
As counsellors, it is helpful to keep up-to-date with national and local services; this will enable our clients or members of their family to access critical psychosocial support.
As a counselling community sharing good practice is vital, sometimes a gentle reminder about new resources and services can help clients to make more informed choices.
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About Annie Ford
Annie is a therapeutic integrative counsellor in Mid Devon, she has worked extensively in the NHS in London medical school hospitals, hospices and community as a nurse specialist in cancer and midwifery dealing with loss and bereavement. As a lead nurse for health diversity in London she has published in the HSJ on cultural health needs.