Care Homes: Specialised Care for People with Dementia

Dementia is a brain disease most common with older adults. It negatively affects a person’s mental capability, so their memory and critical thinking abilities reduce. The loss of memory changes a person’s day to day routine as they may have forgotten what they are supposed to do, and alters their interaction with people since they often can’t remember names and faces. Approximately 47.5 million people suffer from dementia; this is likely to triple by 2050.

Deciding on whether a loved one who has dementia should go with assisted living is hard. But the emotionally draining dedication of a close relative, or the challenges of an elderly relative living alone if no one can care for them, can make dementia residential care the best option.

What is dementia?

Nowadays, people live longer because of advancements in medical technology and treatments. However, as our body becomes older, it slowly deteriorates both physically and mentally, making it more common for health issues to develop during old age. Dementia is the umbrella term for disorders that cause abnormal brain changes.

The various degenerative brain diseases are more common among the elderly. Alzheimer’s is the most common, accounting for 60 to 80 per cent of dementia victims. Other types include Parkinson’s, Lewy, vascular and frontotemporal dementia. Most dementia cases are progressive, which means it starts slowly and becomes worse over time.

Reasons why people choose care homes

seniors relaxing in a park of a nursing home with geriatric nurse

Some people with early stages of dementia make their own decision to move to a care home. However, as dementia progresses, the principal caregiver, usually a close relative, may consider the challenges of looking after the loved one are too great and look for alternative options.

When family members decide whether to move a loved one into a residential care home or seek home support, the prime concern is the benefit and safety of the relative.

One of the determining factors is their safety at home. Accidents may happen and can go unnoticed if they have no family with them. A person with dementia may need 24-hour care if the disease progresses into the middle stages.

Another factor is the ] overall health of the sufferer, since the treatment of other health issues may be neglected if dependent on the person living with dementia.

The health of the caregiver may also be a concern when deciding on the best method of care. People inexperienced in caring for dementia patients, particularly for a close relative such as a spouse or parent, can be mentally exhausting. Caring becomes a full time, unpaid job that limits personal free time or work activities.

For some relatives, family caregiving is limited because of other commitments to their children and work. The roll may be too much to handle, and they may not have the right attitude or patience to take on the responsibilities. Having a person with dementia placed in a care home gives peace of mind since the patient is under the care of professional medics and caregivers.

Having a relative admitted into a care facility is a difficult decision for various reasons, both practical and emotional. A good home will involve you in decisions, encourage active engagement and keep you informed of the status of the patient. Enabling a safe living environment and paying close attention to your loved ones wellbeing shows that you care.

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