Whether your dementia diagnosis confirmed your suspicions or was completely unexpected, learning how to live with your condition is important.
In Solihull, support is provided by the Alzheimer’s Society which provides essential help, advice and guidance.
Society support groups operate across the borough, with dementia cafes and other events regularly taking place.
The Solihull Directory also has details of local and national care providers that could help you live more comfortably.
Living well after diagnosis
Whether your diagnosis has confirmed your own thoughts or it it happened entirely out of the blue, a diagnosis of dementia can be scary and overwhelming.
You are not alone though and, in Solihull, you have access to essential help and support.
Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Solihull Council, working together with the Alzheimer’s Society and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, have created an online information pack.
The pack follows the nationally produced dementia guide and is designed to:
- help you better understand the symptoms associated with dementia
- put you in touch with local providers offering support.
If you are living with dementia, it is also essential to plan ahead, while you are still able to make clear decisions for yourself or with the help of carers. The Dementia Information Pack has been produced so you have immediate and instant access to all of the information that other people living with dementia have said helped them.
The pack is also useful to close friends, family members and carers, with information to help you care for others and help them live well with dementia.
You can download the whole pack.
The pack is split into 8 accessible sections to support you, and your carers, at every step as you need to dip in:
- Section 1: How to use the Dementia Information Pack
- Section 2: Ideal journeys
- Eileen’s journey describes the ideal journey for someone diagnosed with dementia and their family
- Jack’s journey describes the ideal journey for the carer of someone living with dementia
- Section 3: Checklist
- What to do following a diagnosis of dementia and where to get the advice and support you need
- Section 4: Services and useful contacts
- Information about the services available in Solihull
- Section 5: Alzheimer’s Society in Solihull (this section is presented directly from the Alzheimer's Society website)
- Local information and services from the Alzheimer's Society
- Section 6: Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust services for dementia
- Information about the Memory Assessment Service
- Section 7: Real life stories from people living with dementia and their families, including feedback on services people have accessed and personal experiences with:
- Memory Café
- a ‘singing for the brain’ session
- dementia advisers
- a dementia caring role
- Section 8: Living well with dementia
- information from Age UK Solihull and advice on preventing falls
The Alzheimer’s Society
The Alzheimer’s Society website has lots of useful information about dementia and:
- a helpful guide for employers to better understand the practical steps they can take to support employees, clients and customers with dementia
- details of various regular events that the Society runs in the Solihull area
For more information and advice, and to speak to a Dementia Adviser, you can contact the Alzheimer’s Society by:
- phone to the Alzheimer’s Society Solihull office on 0121 706 4052
- email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Staying fit, healthy and well with dementia
One of the biggest ways to challenge dementia is to stay active. Keeping fit and healthy, maintaining a good social life and staying as independent as possible will help with your symptoms.
Though it is a worsening condition, the effects of dementia can be tackled by:
- looking after your health
- staying positive and mentally fit
- keeping social
- staying independent at home
Services specific to dementia are also available, with the Dementia Information Pack providing details about the support you, your family and carers can access, including:
- Dementia Advisers who will help you find the information, advice and support that you need
- specialist therapies such as ‘cognitive stimulation therapy’ and ‘self-management and memory group’
- training for families and carers in helping them to better understand dementia such as the ‘Caring in Dementia Group’
- help and support for carers identified through an assessment of the needs of carers
- dementia medication
- monthly Alz Cafes which provide information and advice to people with dementia and their families
- the Memory Café peer support group which is led by people with dementia and supported by Alzheimer’s Society staff
- activities for fun, such as singing for the brain and tea dances
Dementia Books on Prescription from Solihull Libraries
Solihull Libraries also supplies Dementia Books on Prescription. A specially selected reading list is available to dementia sufferers, as well as individuals and carers of relatives with dementia who would like to find out more about the condition:
- Solihull Libraries on the council website
- Books on prescription from Solihull Libraries
- Dementia Books on Prescription
When your dementia becomes more difficult
Community based support is available if your dementia makes it hard for you to cope at home, with DIAL Solihull and Age UK Solihull providing immediate support and advice from the Solihull Community Information and Advice Hubs. The hubs could put you in contact with the best support and activities to help you live better and support you if you are carer in:
Private, paid for help and support is also available from providers listed in The Solihull Directory.
If you are finding it very difficult to live safely and independently at home and are concerned, you can contact Solihull Council adult social care to request an assessment.
A qualified worker will work with you, and your carer or representative if you would like, to discuss your needs and identify how to help:
To understand your level of care, a needs assessment will be conducted. The assessment will take place in your own home or wherever is most convenient and comfortable for you.
The assessment process will:
- discuss what support you need to live your life with dementia in the best way possible
- understand your care and support needs
- help you maintain and improve your personal physical and emotional wellbeing
Taking dementia personally
As well as ensuring you are safe and well, it is also important to take care of your personal affairs, such as making a will and ensuring your financial details are in order.
It may help to set up direct debits and standing orders to ensure all of your bills are paid on time for example.
You should also check that you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to.
You may also wish to create an advance care plan. This allows you to retain control over your future medical care and attention, such as refusing resuscitation.
As time progresses, you may wish to consider appointing lasting power of attorney to a loved one or family member.
The NHS Choices website has: