Suicide risk in informal carers of people living with dementia
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Suicide risk in informal carers of people living with dementia

Lucy Chamberlain Admiral Nurse, Royal British Legion, Birmingham, England
Carole Anderson Admiral Nurse, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, Worcester, England
Chris Knifton Admiral Nurse consultant, De Montfort University, Leicester, England
Gayle Madden Admiral Nurse professional and practice development facilitator, Dementia UK, London, England

With an ageing population comes an increasing risk of illnesses such as dementia and a growing need for care. There are 670,000 informal, unpaid carers in the UK, reducing costs for health and social care services but presenting other concerns for healthcare professionals. Carer burden and carer stress are well-documented concepts, and can lead to depression and a risk of suicide in some individuals. It is important that this risk is considered when supporting informal carers of people living with dementia. Admiral Nurses work with families living with dementia to provide the one-to-one support and expert guidance they need to manage. This article discusses a case study that highlights how caring can affect an individual, leading to thoughts of suicide. It also demonstrates how an Admiral Nurse could support the carer in a relationship-centred way, using appropriate interventions to avoid crisis. The article offers implications for practice and provides recommendations for nurses working in this field.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2018.e1035


Chamberlain L, Anderson C, Knifton C et al (2018) Suicide risk in informal carers of people living with dementia. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2018.e1035

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 05 June 2018

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