Dementia refers to a group of symptoms that affects both intellectual and social ability so much it interferes with day to day life. Dementia is much more common among older people. However, it can affect adults at any age.
How do I get help?
If you are worried about your memory you should see your GP. There are many causes of memory loss that can be treated - such as depression, stress and the side effects of medications. Hutt Valley DHB funds a range of support for people with dementia and their carers to enable people to live as independently as possible.
The supports are managed by the Hutt Valley Service Coordination Centre.
These services work with people to help them to continue living at home. They:
- talk with you, your carer/family or doctor to understand your needs and eligibility for support
- discuss your concerns and arrange for an assessment to ensure you get the right support for your needs
- assess what support your family/whānau can give and what support they might need in order to be able to help you
- refer you for specialised assessments from other services if you need them.
The assessment will identify:
- what you can and can’t manage at home
- help and support you already have
- what will improve your quality of life
- support for the people who care for you.
Some services, such as household support (eg, cleaning), are available only to community services card holders. The DHBs can fund personal care, including support with personal tasks like dressing and undressing, showering or bathing, personal grooming and assistance with getting up in the morning or getting ready for bed.
There are ways that people who care for you can also be supported. This includes:
- carer support which is a subsidy funded by the Ministry of Health to assist the unpaid, full-time carer to take a break from caring
- respite care – where you take a break in a residential facility
- day respite – where you spend the day out in a residential facility, going home at night. This is known as 'Day Care'.
Once you have had your assessment and a plan of care is prepared a referral is made to private agencies who are funded by the DHB to provide the supports you need.
Residential care is funded for people who require more care than can be provided at home. There is an assessment process to decide if residential care is right for you. Residential care is means and asset tested. Work and Income manage this. Information about the residential facilities is available on the Eldernet website.
To organise carers or arrange an assessment:
Contact: HuttValley Service Coordination
Phone: 04 566 2226 or 0800 662 225
It is best that you see your GP first so they can write a referral. Even if the assesment finds that the DHBs are not able to fund services for you they can help with advice on agencies able to provide services you need at your own cost.
If you want help with things like gardening, please contact Work and Income: http://www.workandincome.govt.nz
Dementia support and information
Phone: 04 972 2595
PO Box 39393
Wellington Mail Centre
Lower Hutt 5045
Dementia training resources
Dementia guide for carers and care providers
If you care for someone with dementia, this guide is for you. Following the success of the non digital version of The Dementia Guide for Carers HETV has launched a free national version for family carers and care providers. This handy app can be downloaded to your phone or tablet and will be kept updated.
The Learning Location
Developed by the East of England Dementia Alliance, providing quality training tools and resources for those caring for people with dementia.
The Dementia Training Study Centres
The Dementia Training Study Centres website has an Australian focus but has significant education and resources.
FREE ONLINE COURSE – The many faces of dementia
The Dementia Research Centre, University College London have created a free online course on four less common forms of dementia (familial AD, frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and posterior cortical atrophy). The aim is to give people a unique insight into dementia through the science, symptoms and stories behind these forms of dementia. The is open so that people can start learning now, and it is free for people to sign up at any time.