Looking after someone with dementia

What is Dementia?

Dementia is not a specific disease but is rather a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday tasks. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, though dementia mostly affects older adults, it is not a normal part of ageing.

Dementia UK created the following short animation to help children aged 8-12 understand what having dementia means. It is a great video that explains simply what dementia is with some tips on communicating and enjoying quality time with your loved one.

How do I know if my loved one has Dementia?

Male with glasses and short grey hair kissing woman on side of head, beach and sea in background

The Alzheimer's Society has developed a checklist which has been formally endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), the professional membership body for GPs in the UK. It is a simple to use tool which you can complete online or by printing a copy and completing by hand, the idea is that you/your loved one can complete it and use this to open a discussion with your GP, so that early diagnosis of dementia can be made if present. 

This checklist contains 20 questions about possible symptoms or behaviours relating to dementia. You will need to think about the symptoms, how long they have been happening and how much they are affecting daily life. If you do not wish to answer a question, just move on to the next one. It's not a diagnosis but may help you discuss your concerns with a GP.

This resource could make a real difference in identifying those people who require referral for a more detailed evaluation and diagnosis of their problems.

Looking after a loved one with Dementia

Caring for someone with dementia can be challenging and stressful. If you engage with the right support, it can be rewarding and satisfying. Below are some useful links to support you on your journey:

  • You have the right to request a carers assessment from the Local Authority in which your loved one resides. 
  • You can inform your GP so that you can be offered appropriate health and wellbeing services.  Download the Carers GP Registration Form.
  • Have you thought about implementing Power of Attorney?
  • Local carers support.
  • The 'severely mentally impaired' (SMI) council tax discount is a reduction off a household's council tax bill, worth, a minimum, 25%, all the way up to, in some cases, the entire bill being wiped. SMI is a medical diagnosis in itself, but the underlying cause could be a condition such as dementia (including Alzheimer's), profound learning difficulties, multiple sclerosis, the result of a severe stroke or something else. Council tax is discounted based on how many qualifying adults live in a house. Having SMI means you don't count towards this (like full-time students & under-18s). Contact your appropriate Local Authority to apply for the discount. More information on financial support.

Herbert Protocol

The Herbert Protocol logo

The Herbert Protocol is a form that carers, friends or family of a vulnerable person can fill in. These forms help the Police in the event that a vulnerable person goes missing. 

Keeping vulnerable people safe can be a challenge, especially those suffering with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

There is a risk that they can get lost and disoriented if they start to ‘walk about’. It may only be for a short time, or they could go missing. This is why it’s important to plan ahead and keep them as safe as possible. 

What is the Herbert Protocol?

It contains a list of information to help the police if the person goes missing, including:

  • medication required
  • mobile numbers
  • places previously located
  • a recent photograph

Download and complete the form

Johns Campaign

Johns Campaign logo


John's Campaign is a national campaign which recognises the important role of family members who care for people living with dementia and people with complex needs, including learning disabilities and or autism. The campaign also emphasises that carers should not just be allowed but should be welcomed into all care settings.

Find out more: www.johnscampaign.org.uk 

Facebook: Johns Campaign page


Dementia Services & Support

Community Dementia Services Chart (Middlesbrough)

Middlesbrough Council has created a Community Dementia Services Chart detailing the range of support across the borough, this document is interactive (you can click on the links which will take you directly to each service website). The document can be downloaded here:

Community Dementia Hub Coordinator, Sue Rowe, has created a timetable of community based activity for people living with dementia and their carers across Redcar and Cleveland. Download here:

Alzheimer's Society is the leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers. Contact the Alzheimer's Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122

Local support from Alzheimer's Society

Services available:

  • One to one dementia support, is available from a Dementia Advisor either in a community setting or at a persons home depending on the individuals needs.
  • Singing for the Brain, alternative Tuesdays, 10:30-12 noon at Woodside Hub, Cavendish Road, Middlesbrough.
  • Singing for the Brain, 3rd Wednesday of month, 2-4pm at Skelton Court Care Home.
  • Dementia Advice Drop-In, 3rd Friday of the month, 10-12 noon at Woodside Hub, Cavendish Road, Middlesbrough
  • Starting in October, Dementia advice drop-ins at Skelton Court on the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month, 10-12pm. 

For more information on any of the local Alzheimer's Society services contact the team by phone 01904 929444 or mobile 07738741318.

Age UK Teesside Logo

Age UK Teesside Dementia Advice Service 

Services available:

  • Drop-in advice sessions
  • Support groups for people living with dementia
  • Support for carers
  • Welfare benefits advice
  • Lasting Power of Attorney/Deputyship
  • Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

Age UK Teesside's Dementia Advisor Service is a comprehensive service for people diagnosed with Dementia, their carers, professionals supporting clients with dementia and anyone wanting to learn more. This service is open to all ages. The service offers group sessions for people who have a diagnosis of Dementia or Alzheimer's and their carers. The sessions give carers some much-needed respite time to enjoy a cup of tea/coffee and a chat with others in a similar position, whilst the person with a diagnosis enjoys activities and socialising in a secure environment.  

The service offers drop-in advice sessions to those who have a diagnosis of Dementia/Alzheimer’s and their carers. The sessions are designed to offer as much advice and support as we can through our Dementia Advisors. We can also refer and signpost to other organisations or those within Age UK Teesside if you require support beyond our abilities.

If you live in Middlesbrough phone Carolyn on 07719029674 or email: carolyn.martell@Ageukteesside.org.uk


Dementia Hubs

Dementia Hubs can offer information on the activities they run as well as other groups or activities in your area. They will help you find what’s right for you.

Middlesbrough phone 01642 368945 at Woodside Resource Centre or email: tewv.mhsopwellbeing-dementiahub@nhs.net


More local services

Dementia Action Teesside logo

Dementia Action Teesside is passionate about supporting those living with dementia to lead an active life within their community.  The team are on a mission to make Middlesbrough, and Redcar and Cleveland Dementia Friendly Communities. 

The team provide dances which are held most weeks in Middlesbrough and Redcar, and they’re open to anyone living with dementia and their carer.

They offer reminiscence through music along with great fun; sometimes musicians join the group plus they have their own DJ, so you can make requests.  There is usually a big screen so you can also watch the original videos along with the music. During the break you can have a go at a short picture quiz and rest before you get back into morning dancing. 

If you fancy a dance, please get in touch with Marie or Brian:

Brian Rowcroft- brian@dementiaactionteesside.org / Marie Kerr- marie@dementiaactionteesside.org

We Care You Care has made a commitment to support Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland in becoming dementia friendly through our information platform. The photos below are of Kelly Hodgson our project lead being presented with a certificate in recognition of our commitments. 

Kirkleatham Councillor and Kelly Hodgson

Kirkleatham Councillor, Alec Brown presenting Kelly Hodgson (Project Lead) with certificate.

Kelly Hodgson with Middlesbrough Major Chris Cooke

Kelly Hodgson (Project Lead) receiving certificate from Chris Cooke (Middlesbrough Major).

Can you become a Dementia Friend? 

A Dementia Friend is somebody that learns about dementia so they can help their community.

Dementia Friends help people living with dementia by taking actions - both big and small.

These actions don’t have to be time-consuming. From visiting someone you know with dementia to being more patient in a shop queue, every action counts! Dementia Friends can also get involved with things like volunteering, campaigning or wearing a badge to raise awareness.

Find out more or sign up today.


Senses Wellbeing Centre logo

Senses Wellbeing Centre Dementia Friendly sessions

  • Dementia friendly chair based exercises.
  • Dementia friendly Cinema Screenings. 
  • Talk time, supported by the Co-Op, refreshments and connectivity.  

Contact Senses Wellbeing Centre- 

Phone: 01287 650151 Mobile: 07794571933 

Email: karen@senseswellbeingcentre.co.uk

Tea with a pony poster




RDA Unicorn Centre offers a session, Tea with a Pony, to anyone living with Dementia and their carer. You are invited to join the Unicorn Centre every 3rd Thursday of the month for demonstrations, to meet the ponies and enjoy tea and cake at the Unicorn Centre in Hemlington. The sessions are £5 per person and need to be pre-booked by contacting the RDA Unicorn Centre team on 01642 576222.


Music and Memories poster

Guisborough Bridge is hosting Music and Memories on the last Wednesday of each month at St Paulinus Church Hall, The Avenue, Guisborough, TS14 8DN.

The afternoon begins with refreshments at 1:45pm, followed by a music hour starting at 2:15pm and finishing at 3:15pm, with an amazing acoustic guitarist and singer, Trisha. All welcome, particularly people living with dementia and carers. Enjoy fellowship, fun, and a dash of respite.

Singing and hearing your familiar favourites can:

  • Improve your mood!
  • Reduce anxiety!
  • Evoke memories that can help families and carers connect!

Contact- staff@guisboroughbridge.org.uk

Redcar Leisure Centre Dementia Friendly Activities

Everyone is Friendly 

Dementia friendly activities at Everyone Active, Redcar Leisure Centre, Ridley Street, Redcar TS10 1TD.

Every Thursday 1-2:20pm

What is on offer?

  • Badminton
  • Table tennis
  • Chair based exercise
  • Quizzes
  • Tea and coffee

Contact Everyone Active, Redcar Leisure Centre- 0164 277 1070





Footprints logo

Reflections is a free support group in Redcar for anyone living, or caring for someone, with dementia. It is a small and friendly group run who enjoy a chat over a cuppa. Our volunteers run the group and give everyone a warm welcome and a listening ear. The group runs every Monday 9.30- 11.30am in our Footprints Community Cafe on Redcar High Street.

To find out more email reflections@footprintsinthecommunity.co.uk or telephone 01642 484842.

holding hands over hot drinks

Dementia Cafe at MyPlace every other Friday

Every other Friday 11– 1pm at Myplace, Custom House, North Street, Middlesbrough, TS2 1JP. Come for a chat, live music and free Afternoon Tea. Open to all people living with dementia and their carers. Contact Tracey for more information on 01642 727184 or email myplace@middlesbrough.gov.uk




Dementia Friendly Walks at Flatts Lane Country Park. Dementia Friendly Walk with The Friends of Flatts Lane Country Park, the walks take place on the third Thursday of each month at 11am. Meet at the Visitor Centre. If you would like any more information contact Jenny by phone 01642 459629 or email jenny.tibbett@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk

Peer Support

DISCO - Dementia Inclusion Social Community Organisation Redcar & Cleveland - Teesside friendly social group for those living with Dementia, their carers and family to support each other especially out of hours. A safe place to share activities , reduce isolation and get help when needed from others in similar situations. All views are your own so please respect one another. There is no professional support available through this group.

Adapting the Home

Wendy Mitchell was diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer's disease in 2014, aged 58. Alzheimer's Society have created the following short film with Wendy where she shares some of the small adjustments she has made to her home, to make it more dementia friendly; improving her quality of life and allowing her to retain independence. Watch the video below and read more in her blog: https://blog.alzheimers.org.uk/dement...

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