Dementia, social services and the NHS
Living with dementia can be challenging and stressful. But there is support available from the NHS and your local council to help you and your family.
The support and care you may need is organised by the NHS and the adult social services department of your local council. Services provided by charities are also important.
Even if you feel you don't need support now, it's a good idea to know what's available and plan ahead.
NHS support for dementia
NHS help for dementia includes the treatment you receive from your GP and hospital. It can also include other types of healthcare, such as:
- hearing care (audiology)
- eye tests (optometry)
- foot care (podiatry)
- speech and language therapy
- support from the Older People's Mental Health team
In some parts of the country, the NHS provides Admiral Nurses in partnership with the charity Dementia UK.
Admiral Nurses are NHS specialist dementia nurses who will visit you to give practical guidance on accessing services as well as offering emotional support. Find out more about Admiral nurses and how they can help.
NHS continuing healthcare
If you have complex health and care needs, the NHS may cover the cost of all your care at home or in a care home, including the services you receive from the local council. This is called continuing healthcare and is funded by your local clinical commissioning group (CCG).
A diagnosis of dementia doesn't necessarily mean you will qualify for NHS continuing healthcare. This depends on how complex and severe your needs are.
To qualify for NHS continuing healthcare, you need to be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals. To request an assessment, contact your local clinical commissioning group (CCG) and ask for the NHS continuing healthcare co-ordinator.
Find out more about NHS continuing healthcare
NHS-funded nursing care
This is similar to NHS continuing healthcare but applies to people who are in a nursing home. If you are eligible, the NHS will pay for your nursing care.
To qualify for NHS-funded nursing care, contact your local CCG and ask for the NHS continuing healthcare co-ordinator.
The Department of Health has produced a booklet, called NHS continuing healthcare and NHS-funded nursing care (PDF, 113kb), for people who may need NHS continuing care, and their families and carers.
Get help and advice
Getting help and support from local councils or the NHS can sometimes feel very difficult and complicated.
If you need help, consider using an advocacy service.
An advocate can help you express your opinions and wishes, help you with assessments and ensure that your rights are respected.
Find out more about advocacy services
Charities and voluntary organisations provide valuable help and advice on their websites and via their helplines:
Page last reviewed: 24 July 2018
Next review due: 24 July 2021