3.1 Describe the roles of others in the care and support of individuals with dementia

3.1 Describe the roles of others in the care and support of individuals with dementia

The person centred approach to the care and support of individuals with dementia

Care Learning

5 mins READ

This guide will help you answer the NCFE CACHE Level 2 Award in Awareness of Dementia Unit 3.1 Describe the roles of others in the care and support of individuals with dementia.


Caring for individuals with dementia requires a multi-faceted approach. Teamwork is essential. Different professionals, family members, and voluntary organisations work together. Their roles and contributions are vital. Each has a unique part to play.

Understanding the roles of these individuals increases the quality of care and support. Let’s explore the various roles involved in dementia care.

Healthcare Professionals

General Practitioners (GPs)

GPs are often the first point of contact. They diagnose dementia and initiate treatment plans. They monitor the patient’s health and make necessary adjustments. GPs also provide referrals to specialists and support services.

Dementia Specialists

Neurologists and Psychiatrists

Neurologists and psychiatrists specialise in brain disorders. They assess cognitive impairments and prescribe medications. Their expertise helps manage symptoms like memory loss, confusion, and behavioural changes.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists offer counselling and psychological support. They help individuals with dementia and their families cope with the emotional toll. Therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) may be used.

Mental Health Nurses

Mental health nurses focus on the psychological well-being of the patient. They administer medications and provide emotional support. They also educate families about dementia and its progression.

Occupational Therapists (OTs)

Occupational therapists help maintain the individual’s independence. They assess the patient’s abilities and adapt everyday tasks. They recommend tools and techniques to simplify activities like dressing and eating.

Social Care Professionals

Social Workers

Social workers assist with accessing services and benefits. They create care plans tailored to the individual’s needs. Social workers also provide emotional support and advocacy for the patient’s rights.

Care Workers

Care workers offer practical day-to-day support. This includes help with personal hygiene, meal preparation, and mobility. They build strong relationships with patients, providing companionship and emotional stability.

Family Members and Carers

Primary Carers

Family members often serve as primary carers. They provide constant support and supervision. Their role includes managing medications, appointments, and daily activities. They also offer emotional comfort and reassurance.

Secondary Carers

Secondary carers may be extended family or friends. They step in when the primary carer needs a break. Their support allows primary carers to rest and recharge.

Carers’ Support Groups

Support groups offer a network of other carers. They provide emotional support, share advice, and reduce feelings of isolation. Some groups also offer respite services.

Voluntary Organisations and Charities

Alzheimer’s Society

The Alzheimer’s Society provides extensive resources and support. They offer information about dementia and its management. They also run support groups and helplines for patients and carers.

Age UK

Age UK offers support services, including home help and companionship. They provide information on dementia and available benefits. Their services aim to improve the quality of life for older individuals with dementia.

Dementia UK

Dementia UK provides specialist dementia nurses known as Admiral Nurses. These nurses offer expert advice and support to families. They help with complex care needs and emotional support.

Other Voluntary Organisations

Several smaller charities and organisations also contribute. They offer tailored services such as memory cafes, activity groups, and respite care. These services provide social interaction and mental stimulation.


Pharmacists play an essential role in medication management. They ensure drugs are dispensed correctly and provide advice on side effects. They also offer guidance on safe medication practices and drug interactions.

Dietitians and Nutritionists

Dietitians and nutritionists ensure individuals with dementia receive proper nutrition. They assess dietary needs and create nutrition plans. They also educate carers on preparing balanced meals and managing feeding difficulties.

Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs)

SLTs address communication and swallowing difficulties. They develop strategies to improve verbal and non-verbal communication. They also train carers on how to support the patient’s speech and language needs.


Physiotherapists maintain mobility and physical health. They create exercise routines tailored to the patient’s abilities. Regular physical activity helps manage symptoms like stiffness and balance problems.

Palliative Care Specialists

Palliative care specialists focus on comfort and quality of life. They manage pain and other distressing symptoms. They also offer emotional and spiritual support during advanced stages of dementia.

Legal and Financial Advisors

Legal and financial advisors help manage the patient’s assets and legal matters. They provide advice on powers of attorney, wills, and financial planning. This ensures the patient’s wishes are respected and their assets are protected.

Example answers for unit 3.1 Describe the roles of others in the care and support of individuals with dementia

Here are example answers from the perspective of a care worker completing the unit on “3.1. Describe the roles of others in the care and support of individuals with dementia”:

Example Answer 1: General Practitioners (GPs)

GPs are often the first point of contact when a person shows signs of dementia. They carry out initial assessments and may conduct tests to rule out other causes of symptoms. Once they suspect dementia, they refer the individual to specialists for further diagnosis. GPs also manage ongoing health issues, prescribe medications, and schedule regular check-ups to monitor the person’s overall health. They are essential for coordinating care and ensuring that any new health concerns are addressed promptly.

Example Answer 2: Mental Health Nurses

Mental health nurses provide specialised care to individuals with dementia. They administer medications, conduct regular mental health assessments, and support emotional well-being. They educate both the person with dementia and their family about the illness, helping them understand what to expect as the condition progresses. Additionally, they offer counselling and support to manage symptoms like depression, anxiety, and agitation. Their role is vital in maintaining the mental health of both patients and their caregivers.

Example Answer 3: Care Workers

As a care worker, my role involves providing daily support to individuals with dementia. This includes helping with personal hygiene, meal preparation, and mobility. I also offer companionship and emotional support, which is crucial in reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. Building strong relationships with the individuals I care for enables me to better understand their needs and provide personalised care. My goal is to enhance their quality of life by promoting independence and dignity.

Example Answer 4: Family Members and Carers

Family members often act as primary carers for individuals with dementia. They provide continuous care and support, managing daily tasks, medications, and medical appointments. Secondary carers, such as friends or extended family, provide additional support, allowing the primary carer to take breaks and avoid burnout. Carers’ support groups also play a significant role by offering emotional support, sharing practical advice, and sometimes providing respite services. This network of care is crucial for sustaining the well-being of both the individual with dementia and their carers.

Example Answer 5: Voluntary Organisations and Charities

Charities like the Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK provide invaluable support and resources. They offer information and advice about dementia, as well as emotional support through helplines and local support groups. Organisations like Dementia UK provide specialist nurses, known as Admiral Nurses, who offer expert advice and support for complex care needs. These charities also organise activities and social groups that help improve the quality of life for individuals with dementia and provide carers with much-needed breaks.

Example Answer 6: Occupational Therapists (OTs)

Occupational therapists help individuals with dementia maintain their independence. They assess the person’s abilities and identify ways to adapt everyday tasks to suit their needs. This can involve recommending tools and techniques to make activities like dressing, eating, and bathing easier. OTs also work with family members and carers to implement these strategies and provide training on how to support the individual effectively. Their role is key in enabling individuals with dementia to continue participating in meaningful activities.

These example answers should provide a good representation of how a care worker might describe the roles of others in the care and support of individuals with dementia.


The care and support of individuals with dementia involve various roles. Each plays a crucial part in improving the patient’s quality of life. Collaboration among all these roles ensures comprehensive care.

Understanding these roles allows us to appreciate the complex nature of dementia care. This insight helps create a supportive environment for individuals with dementia and their families.

In achieving this, everyone involved contributes to the well-being and dignity of those affected by dementia.

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