Benefits you can claim when you have care needs
September 25, 2016

If you have care needs or a disability there are benefits to help you manage with the extra costs. Most of these benefits aren’t affected by income or savings and you may be able to keep them if you have to go into a care home.

  • Why it’s important to claim all the benefits you’re entitled to
  • What benefits are you entitled to?
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Council Tax discounts and exemptions
  • Other benefits
  • State Pension and Pension Credit
  • Benefits for carers

Why it’s important to claim all the benefits you’re entitled to

The amount you pay towards your long-term care is worked out as if you’re already receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to.

So it’s important to claim everything you can, otherwise you’ll end up paying more than you need to.

What benefits are you entitled to?

Financial support is available whether you need help to live safely and comfortably in your own home, or you need to move into a care home.

What’s more, not all benefits are means-tested. Disability benefits that help with personal care needs or the extra costs of getting around don’t take your income or savings into account.

Personal Independence Payment

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and have difficulty getting around or everyday tasks you can make a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

This benefit is replacing Disability Living Allowance for people aged 16 to 64.

PIP is tax free, paid weekly and not usually affected by your income or savings.

There are two parts to PIP:

  • a daily living component which is paid if you need personal care
  • a mobility component if you need help getting around

There are two rates for each payment. Which one you get will depend on how severe your needs are.

Personal Independence Payment rates 2015/16

Daily living component Mobility component
Standard rate £55.10 Standard rate £21.80
Enhanced rate £82.30 Enhanced rate £57.45

If you’re in England, Wales or Scotland, find out more about PIP, including how to claim, on the GOV.UK website.

If you’re in Northern Ireland, find out more about PIP on the nidirect website.

Disability Living Allowance

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can only now make a new claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) if you’re claiming for a child under 16.

DLA is tax free, paid weekly and not usually affected by your income or savings.

There are two parts to DLA called components:

  • the DLA care component helps with the extra costs of personal care – it is paid at one of three rates
  • the DLA mobility component helps with the extra costs of getting around – it is paid at one of two rates

It is possible to get either or both components.

Disability Living Allowance rates for 2015/16

Care component Mobility component
Higher rate £82.30 Higher rate £57.45
Middle rate £55.10 n/a
Lower rate £21.80 Lower rate £21.80

If you are aged between 16 and 64 and are currently getting DLA, you will be invited to be reassessed for Personal Independence Payment a few months before your current DLA award is due to end or if your condition changes.

If you’re in England, Wales or Scotland, find out more about DLA on the GOV.UK website.

If you’re in Northern Ireland find out more about DLA on the nidirect website.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is tax free and is not usually affected by any savings or income you may have. You may be entitled if:

  • you’re aged 65 or over and need help with personal care because of illness or disability (this could be a physical, mental disability or learning difficulty)
  • your disability means you need supervision to avoid putting yourself in danger (for example you need someone to make sure you keep to a strict diet or help you take certain medications)

Attendance Allowance is based on the care you need, not the level of care you’re currently receiving.

So even if you don’t receive support from a carer at the moment, you may still be entitled to this benefit.

You can get a lower rate if you need help in the day or night and a higher rate if you need help day and night.

Attendance Allowance rates for 2015/16

Higher rate Lower rate
£82.30 £55.10

If you’re in England, Wales or Scotland, find out more about Attendance Allowance, including how to claim, on the GOV.UK website.

If you’re in Northern Ireland, find out more about Attendance Allowance, including how to claim, on the nidirect website.

Council Tax discounts and exemptions

You may receive a reduction on your Council Tax bill if you’re getting certain benefits.

If your home has been specially extended to help you stay there, you should not have to pay any extra Council Tax.

To find out more, find the details on the GOV.UK website.

Council Tax only applies to people living in England, Wales and Scotland.

If you live in Northern Ireland, you might get a reduction in your Rates through the Rate Relief Scheme. Find out more on the nidirect website.

Other benefits

If you’re on a low income, you may also be entitled to other benefits and help with health costs.

Check out Turn2Us, a charity that helps people access welfare benefits, grants and other support.

Find out more about help with health costs on the NHS website.

If you’re in Northern Ireland, find out more about other benefits on the nidirect website.

Memory Boosting Superfoods That Fight Alzheimer’s
September 22, 2016



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In order to get enough of these brain boosters, you’ll want to make sure your loved one stocks up on these foods:

Vegetables, especially leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnip greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, which have been strongly linked to lower levels of cognitive decline in older age, according to a study in the Annals of Neurology.

Salmon and other cold-water fish, such as halibut, tuna, mackerel and sardines, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Other omega-3 sources include beans, some nuts, flax seeds and healthy oils, like olive oil.

Berries and dark-skinned fruits which are rich in antioxidants. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, some of the fruits that pack the most punch are blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes and cherries.

Coffee and chocolate are surprisingly good for you. Recent studies have shown that caffeine and coffee can be used as therapeutics against Alzheimer’s disease. The caffeine and antioxidants in these two tasty treats may help ward off age-related memory impairment, along with cinnamon, olive oil and curry.

Extra virgin olive oil contains a substance called oleocanthal that helps boost the production of key proteins and enzymes that help break down the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is a heart-healthy oil that is free of cholesterol and trans-fats, and boosts ketones. Coconut oil has been shown to improve the body’s use of insulin, increase HDL (good cholesterol), boost thyroid function and acting as an antioxidant and natural antibiotic.


Clarke R, et al. Folate, vitamin B12, and serum total homocysteine levels in confirmed Alzheimer disease. Arch Neurol. 1998 Nov;55(11):1449-55.

Desilets AR, et al. Role of huperzine a in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Ann Pharmacother. 2009 Mar;43(3):514-8.

Gu Y, et al. Food combination and Alzheimer disease risk: a protective diet. Arch Neurol. 2010 Jun;67(6):699-706.

Lourida I, et al. Mediterranean diet, cognitive function, and dementia: a systematic review. Epidemiology. 2013 Jul;24(4):479-89.

Mandel SA, et al. Understanding the Broad-Spectrum Neuroprotective Action Profile of Green Tea Polyphenols in Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases. J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;25(2):187-208.

Mangialasche F, et al. High plasma levels of vitamin E forms and reduced Alzheimer’s disease risk in advanced age. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20(4):1029-37.

Pettegrew JW, et al. Clinical and neurochemical effects of acetyl-L-carnitine in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol Aging. 1995 Jan-Feb;16(1):1-4.

Scarmeas N, et al. Physical activity, diet, and risk of Alzheimer disease. JAMA. 2009 Aug 12;302(6):627-37.6. Unlisted. Citicoline. Alt Med Rev. 2008;13(1):50-7.

Baum L, et al. Six-month randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, pilot clinical trial of curcumin in patients with Alzheimer disease. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2008 Feb;28(1):110-3

Cardoso BR. Importance and management of micronutrient deficiencies in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Clin Interv Aging. 2013;8:531-42.

101 Activities
September 22, 2016



Listen to music



Toss a ball



Color pictures



Make homemade lemonade



Count trading cards



Clip coupons



Sort poker chips



Read out loud chapters from Harry Potter books or other favorite stories



Rake leaves



String beads



Bake cookies



Take photos of the person and you and create a collage



Brush or comb one another’s hair



Participate in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
To learn more about Walk, please click here.


Plant seeds indoors or outdoors



Look at family photographs



Wipe off the kitchen table



Weed the flowerbed or tend to the garden



Fold laundry



Have a friend visit with a well-behaved pet



Cut pictures out of greeting cards or magazines



Play dominoes



Ask the person about his or her favorite childhood books or cartoon characters (you can share yours too)



Bake homemade bread



Sort objects by shape or color



Sing old songs



Invite the person to tell you more when he or she talks about a memory



Put silverware away



Make a Valentine card



Play favorite songs and sing



Ask the person about his or her brothers or sisters



Make a cherry pie



Play with tops or jacks



Make a scrapbook



Take a walk around the yard



Write a poem together



Reminisce about the first day of school



String Cheerios® to hang outside for birds



Make a fresh fruit salad



Sweep the patio



Color paper shamrocks green



Fold towels



Have an afternoon tea party



Talk about great inventions



Look through the pages of a clothes catalog



Look at a map of the United States and identify states and capitals



Make a family tree poster



Color a picture of our flag



Eat a picnic lunch outside



Water house plants



Play horseshoes






Watch Sesame Street together



Make homemade ice cream



Make holiday cards



Reminisce about favorite sports activities the person enjoyed while growing up



Write a letter to a friend or family member



Dress in your favorite football or soccer team’s color



Pop popcorn



Name the presidents



Give a manicure



Make paper butterflies



Plant a tree



Finish famous sayings



Feed the ducks



Model with play dough



Look at pictures in a comic book



Put a puzzle together



Sand wood



Rub in hand lotion



Arrange fresh flowers



Remember famous people



Recite nursery rhymes



Make peanut butter sandwiches



Cut up used paper for scratch paper



Blow bubbles



Take care of a fish tank



Bake cupcakes and decorate them



Interview the person about his or her life using either a video camera or cassette recorder



Play Hangman



Finger paint



Cut out pictures from magazines



Put coins in a jar



Put bird seed out for the birds



Decorate a pumpkin



Reminisce about a favorite summer



Roll yarn into a ball



Trace and cut out autumn leaves



Cook a favorite family recipe together



Gather a yellow sponge, crayons, paper and tape and make a SpongeBob SquarePants



Wash silverware



Give him or her a hug



Ask the person to show you how to knit or sew (or another favorite hobby)



Make a picture frame our of popsicle sticks and glitter



Play a musical instrument



Keep a journal together



Ask the person to talk about his or her favorite sports hero



Sort playing cards



Ask the person about his or her favorite pet



Wash windows together



Ask the person about his or her first car
10 Stimulating Activities for Alzheimer’s Patients
September 22, 2016

Dementia can cause seniors to withdraw from activities, family and friends. But maintaining those relationships and interests reduces the effects of severe cognitive impairment, leading to a better quality of life.images

The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease impairs behavior, memory and thought. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s accounts for 50-80% of dementia cases. While memory loss may start out mild in early stages, the disease worsens over time. Eventually, it can restrict a person’s ability to carry on a conversation or even respond to people or surroundings.

Activities Bring Pleasure to People with Alzheimer’s

Keeping aging loved ones active in hobbies and interests that gave them pleasure in the past is important after a disease diagnosis. These stimulating activities for Alzheimer’s help:

  • Stir memories
  • Foster emotional connections with others
  • Encourage self-expression
  • Lessen the anxiety and irritability that Alzheimer’s may bring
  • Make people with Alzheimer’s feel more engaged with life

What activities best suit people with Alzheimer’s? That depends on the individual. As describes, it is important to create meaningful activities, not just ones that fill time. Consider interests they had in the past, knowing that some activities may need to be modified for safety or practicality. Keep in mind that Alzheimer’s affects behavior and senses in addition to memory. So, activities that a person once enjoyed may become overwhelming or even frustrating now.

Suggested Activities for Seniors With Alzheimer’s

Here are 10 activities to try with your loved one. Certain activities may work better at different times of day. Understand that the person’s level of interest or involvement may decline as Alzheimer’s progresses.

  1. Sing songs or play music.
  2. Do arts and crafts, such as painting or knitting. Keep tools and patterns simple.
  3. Organize household or office items, particularly if the person used to take pleasure in organizational tasks.
  4. Clean around the house. Sweep the patio, wipe the table, fold towels or try other household tasks that help the person feel a sense of accomplishment.
  5. Tend the garden or visit a botanical garden.
  6. Read the newspaper.
  7. Look at books the person used to enjoy.
  8. Cook or bake simple recipes together.
  9. Work on puzzles.
  10. Watch family videos.

Take a Flexible, Supportive Approach

If your loved one resists an activity, take a break. You can try again later, or ask your loved one how the activity can be changed to make it more enjoyable for them.

Remember to concentrate on the process of an activity and not the results. It does not matter if you never get the puzzle put together. What matters is that your loved one enjoyed the time spent on it and felt useful.

What activities does your loved one with Alzheimer’s enjoy? Please share your insights below.

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