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This page is for people who know someone who cares for a person with dementia.

Maybe your friend has become the carer for their father. Maybe your cousin’s wife has had a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. It could be anyone: nearly 1.6 million Australians are involved in the care of someone living with dementia, so the odds are you know one of them.

Carers can tend to disappear from the radar of people they know, especially if the person they’re caring for has constant needs. It means they’re often tired and stressed, and because they’re so focussed on someone else’s needs, their own needs don’t get met.

You can help. It can be hard to know how, especially if you’re not familiar with dementia or what’s involved in caring. That’s what this page is for. With a bit of new knowledge, you can become part of a carer’s support team and make sure they’re cared for too.

Learn about dementia

It starts with understanding the condition a bit better. Dementia is often misunderstood: read our guide to what dementia is, the different diagnoses and how they can affect people.

Learn how to talk about dementia sensitively

If you’re new to talking about dementia, it can be hard to know what the right thing to say is, and what might offend or upset people. Here’s a guide to talking about dementia.

Learn about spending time with someone with dementia

Dementia affects everyone slightly differently, but there are things you can do to make your home easier for someone with dementia to visit, and to learn how to spend time with a person with dementia.

Learn what your carer needs

Now you understand dementia a little better, you’re ready to offer support to your carer friend. No one knows what they need better than them, so the best thing you can do is ask. But to get an idea, read our guide for carers on taking care of themselves. It will help you better understand the experience of carers generally, what kind of help they might need and where you might fit in.

The most important thing you can do for a carer is listen to them. They’ll tell you what they need, even if it’s just a conversation, or a phone call now and then. Don’t try and make them accept help, or convince them of something they don’t agree to.

Your job is to help them on their terms. If you can do that, you’ll make life easier for someone who has put the needs of another person ahead of their own.

More ways to help

In 2024, there are more than 421,000 Australians living with dementia. The more you can support the work of Dementia Australia, the better we can help people directly impacted, their families, friends and carers.

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Last updated
26 February 2024