Support in emergencies and times of crisis

Whilst it may not always be possible, the best way to avoid unnecessary stress during an emergency or crisis is to plan ahead. If you have had Post Diagnostic Support a big part of this should be planning for the future and how you wish to be supported in an emergency or crisis. You may want to discuss with family and friends how much support they would be able to provide and think about other options, for example care at home or respite care.


If you need urgent support if you’re in mental health distress, and your GP surgery is closed call 111 for support.

Care Management team

If you find you need support in an emergency contact your allocated Care Manager or Enablement and Support Coordinator. They may be able to help or direct you to the necessary support. If you don’t have an allocated Care Manager or Enablement and Support Coordinator call 03456 08 12 06. They will take some details and a member of the team will call you back.

If you need an urgent community care service call 03456 08 12 06. The Out of Hours Emergency Service helps anyone experiencing personal or family problems that reach a crisis at nights, weekends or bank holidays. The service provides emergency social care in situations that can’t wait until social work offices reopen.

Aberdeenshire Responders for Care at Home (ARCH) service

The Aberdeenshire Responders for Care at Home (ARCH) service is available to meet urgent care needs, 24 hours a day, across Aberdeenshire. This includes helping people who have fallen but aren’t injured.

Getting support in a medical emergency

If you become suddenly unwell it is important to seek appropriate support. NHS Grampian provide information on who to turn to.

In Aberdeenshire, the aim is to manage acute illness at home, where possible. There are multi-disciplinary teams made up of various professionals including GPs, Nurses, Occupational Therapists and Social Care staff who support you to stay at home or get home from hospital as quickly as possible.

Getting support in a crisis

Crises can happen, for example your carer may have a sudden change of health or your care needs may change rapidly and you find it difficult to cope.

What support you need depends on your circumstances. It may be that you can be supported by family and friends informally. If you feel additional support is needed and you already have a professional involved, such as a Link Worker, they are your first point of contact in a crisis. If you don’t have any professional involvement, and are in crisis you, call 03456 08 12 06.

Options available to support you in a crisis may include care at home or a respite break in a care home. Aberdeenshire Council has eligibility criteria for support which is based around giving priority to those who are at the greatest risk of harm.

Mental health support

Having good mental health helps to make life easier and helps people to cope with changes and uncertainty in life. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being and good mental health is important at every stage of life.

The mental health and wellbeing section of Aberdeenshire Council’s website has information on the mental health support and services available to help you, as well as tips and advice on looking after your mental health. There is also information if you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support.

The Prevent Suicide Northeast Scotland website has contact information for local services and free emotional support services available 24 hours a day.

Getting to Know Me

It is helpful to complete Alzheimer Scotland’s Getting to Know Me form, if you haven’t already. It is a document recording your needs, likes and dislikes, personal preferences, and background.  It is aimed at helping hospital staff understand more about you and how best to provide care in hospital. It can be taken to hospital or shared with other professionals and care providers. It reduces the amount of information you, or your carer, may be asked to provide at the point of emergency or crisis.

You may also be asked to complete a future care planning document. This document is held by your GP and details what your wishes are if your circumstances change.

Stress and distress in dementia

As dementia progresses, some people may have difficulty meeting and expressing their own wants and needs. This can be a difficult experience and can result in distress for the person with dementia and those around them. We call this stress and distress.

If you or the person you are supporting is experiencing stress and distress then you may find the information here helpful. You can also seek advice via the Alzheimer Scotland helpline and their Aberdeenshire support service. This is not only for individuals with an Alzheimer Disease diagnosis, but for all types of dementia.

If you have support from a Post Diagnostic Support worker or someone from the Outreach team or community mental health team, then you can talk to them about more support and guidance. If you don’t have this support but are experiencing difficulties with stress and distress, then talk to your GP. They will consider if a referral to the specialist teams is needed for further support.

If you are a carer and stress and distress is impacting your wellbeing, then talk to your GP. They can give advice and may refer you on to the appropriate service for your specific needs. There are carers support services in Aberdeenshire. Alzheimer Scotland also provides carers support groups.

More information is available in the Health and Social Care Support and Caring for Carers sections of this website.

The Silver Line helpline

The Silver Line helpline is a free telephone service for older people. It offers friendship, conversation and support to people who may be experiencing loneliness and isolation. It is run by Age UK.