Monthly Archives: June 2015

Help to calculate the cost of care

Working out the cost of care has never been easy. But when you're dealing with a diagnosis of dementia, its a subject that will require your attention.

Doing some forward planning before care becomes essential can really help sort out your options and put you in a position to make well-informed choices.

Surprisingly, residential care home costs vary significantly according to which part of the country you live in, and even between care homes in the same area.

So the BBC have produced an easy to use “Care Calculator” which can help you work out the cost of care in the area of the UK in which you live. By entering your postcode, and then answering a few simple questions about your income and savings, the calculator gives you the average cost of care- whether in a residential setting or for help in the home.

Whether you’re planning ahead and trying to allocate savings to meet possible future care needs, or are looking at immediate options and want to compare one provider against another, the care calculator provides an immediate cost estimate and useful starting point for further investigation.

The BBC Care Calculator has been welcomed by government and charities alike.

This calculator is a fantastic resource. It gives you lots of great information and is what public sector broadcasting is all about. I’m really impressed.

Norman LambFormer Care Minister 
Caroline Abrahams
Age UK

The BBC’s care cap calculator is a useful tool that brings some clarity to a complicated system.

Click here to link through to the BBC Care Calculator

or visit

For further information on Care funding and the Cap on care costs proposed for April 2016 visit BBC news: How the cap on care costs works

When is the right time to give up driving?

Although driving may feel like an automatic activity to experienced motorists, it actually requires complex interactions between eyes, brain and muscles, along with rapid reaction responses to deal with unexpected circumstances.

Dementia will eventually erode these skills and at some point the difficult decision will have to be made to give up driving. Exactly when this will be depends very much on the individual. 

Some people lose their confidence behind the wheel early on and decide, for themselves, to make alternative transport arrangements soon after their diagnosis. Others are able to carry on driving safely for several years. 

Safety of course has to be the key factor in the decision.

Here families and friends have a valuable role to play as too often people with dementia under-estimate the effect their symptoms are having on their ability to drive. 

However hard it may be to accept, the following are all warning signs that its time to quit:

  • Forgetting how to locate familiar places
  • Failing to observe traffic signs
  • Making slow or poor decisions in traffic
  • Driving at an inappropriate speed
  • Becoming angry or confused while driving
  • Hitting curbs
  • Using poor lane control
  • Making errors at junctions
  • Confusing the brake and gas pedals
  • Returning from a routine drive later than usual
  • Forgetting the destination you are driving to during the trip

When the time comes, support, patience and understanding from carers and family members will be essential to help make the necessary adjustments to lifestyle and potential loss of independence.

​Discussions on the subject are rarely easy, and sadly,its a common reaction for the person affected to become angry and resentful when the subject is raised. With this in mind, the Alzheimer's Association in the USA have produced a few YouTube video clips which, with any luck, will give you a few ideas on how to get the ball rolling.