Dementia Live-in Care: The Questions You Need to Ask
People living with dementia can benefit greatly from remaining in their own home when their care needs increase. A familiar environment is reassuring to someone who feels that it is becoming harder to make sense of the world around them, so if your loved one is in this position, you will want to find the best dementia care provider you can. However, there are some key questions to ask before choosing a private live-in care company.
Will I Need Any Special Equipment?
There are various pieces of nursing equipment you can buy that can make caring for your loved one at home easier.
If they spend a lot of time in bed or need their position changed at regular intervals, it is worth opting for a hospital bed. In addition to raising and lowering to the optimum position for the carer to work, it will help them to keep your loved one in a comfortable position and sit them upright for meals. Hospital beds also have side rails to use if the person is at risk of falling. Extra equipment such as pressure relief mattresses will also minimise the development of pressure sores.
Usually, the district nursing service will advise on the best specialist equipment for nursing your loved one and providing care at home. They should also be able to organise the supply of these items from NHS stores, although some items may have to be purchased privately.
If your family member has mobility issues, it is worth looking into the various aids that can help them - from walking aids such as Zimmer frames to the installation of a stair lift. If your loved one is unable to stand, you will need a hoist so that the live-in carer can reposition them when necessary. Equipment such as a mobile commode is useful for toilet and personal hygiene tasks such as showering.
How Can We Keep My Loved One Safe?
There are many aids available to alert the carer to potential problems. If your loved one is prone to falls and needs someone with them, a pressure mat placed beside the bed can trigger an alarm that lets the live-in carer know if the person gets up in the night. Similarly, alarms can be installed close to doors so that your loved one cannot wander off without their carer realising.
What Training and Experience Will the Carer Have?
When independent living has become too much of a risk for a person, perhaps because they no longer recognise the dangers around them, you will want to be confident that the carer has the specialist knowledge to deal with any problems. For example, someone living with dementia may want to wander outside in the middle of the night, so the carer would need to help them to settle down again without escalating the situation. Training in how to deal with challenging behaviour is often needed when delivering elderly care to someone with severe dementia.
Dulcie’s care story
Duclie is one of our longest serving customers. In this video her and her family talk through their decision to arrange care in the home rather than the care home.
What Facilities Will the Carer Need?
The carer will need their own bedroom to use for sleeping and as a place to relax when they are taking a break. It is best to provide a television and internet access for them since they will be spending so much time with your loved one. The carer will prepare meals and probably eat with your loved one, so separate dining facilities will not be needed.
If your loved one likes to get out and about and they are well enough to do so, it can be a good idea to supply a car that the live-in carer can use. Having a car to use can also help with shopping trips and transport to appointments or daycare sessions, especially if your loved one lives in an isolated area.
What Happens When the Carer has Time off?
All private care providers have different ways of organising the elderly care they provide. The carer will often work on a rota basis with one other, perhaps on two weeks on/two weeks off. Having this kind of continuity of care is important in the field of dementia care. Your loved one will be able to build a close relationship with the carer that helps them to feel safer and less anxious. The care provider will also provide suitable cover for holidays and any periods of sickness.
How Does Live-in Care Work on a Daily Basis?
A live-in carer provides companionship for your loved one when family members are unable to be around. They will be chosen on the basis of shared interests and hobbies, as well as for the ability to meet your loved one’s medical and healthcare needs. In a typical day the carer and your loved one might play games together or share activities such as cooking or gardening.
The carer will try to support your loved one to carry on doing the things they enjoy, but ensure that they do not put themselves at risk.
Daily records are kept so that you know what has been going on since you last visited your loved one. You will be notified of illness or a fall, or anything else that you need to be aware of and the carer will also contact health care professionals such as nurses or doctors if they need to.
Most of all they are there to provide 24/7 care, enabling your loved one to enjoy the best quality of life they can.
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