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Dementia Live-in Care: When Is It Appropriate?

People with dementia can often be negatively affected by having to move into a residential care home, and while it may seem like an obvious solution to keep your loved one safe, there is a better alternative. As many as 97 per cent of older people say that they want to stay in their own home, and remaining in familiar surroundings can help your loved one to maintain a level of independence for longer.

Staying in a Familiar Place

Although fully independent living may no longer be possible for someone living with dementia, a live-in carer can give them the support they need to stay safely in the place they know best. Changes in their environment can cause people with dementia to become anxious and unable to function as well as they can in their own space.

If your loved one has symptoms that mean it is harder for them to recognise things around them, it’s helpful to make small adaptations to the home. Something as simple as a picture of a toilet on the bathroom door can be enough to help them to access the facilities when they need to, and the presence of a caregiver to prompt them as necessary makes home the best place for them to be.

Dementia Live-in Care

Home care provided by someone trained and experienced in dementia support can make a big difference. It can improve your loved one’s quality of life, not only practically, but also emotionally. In addition to knowing the best way to help the person with dementia in their daily living, a home care assistant who has completed Alzheimer’s care training will be skilled in communication techniques.

Sometimes a person who has dementia can find it difficult to express their needs, wishes and feelings, so in-home dementia care from someone who can support them in this can make them feel safer and more content.

Private live-in care providers will ensure that their 24/7 care is carried out by people with the appropriate training. They also match carers and care recipients to make sure that they will be able to form good relationships. Sometimes carer and care recipient will have shared interests or hobbies, and they can support your loved one to continue to enjoy them.

Because the carer becomes so well known to your loved one, the relationship seems as familiar as that of a family member. This is less threatening for someone living with dementia than having care at home provided by a succession of domiciliary carers who may feel like strangers. It is also vastly preferable to care in a residential home, where there may be a large number of staff members and a rapid turnover of assistants.

Mikis’ care story

In this short video, Nick and Maro explain their reasons for choosing Elder live-in care.

They discuss how live-in care has allowed Nick’s father Mikis to stay independent in his own home while making a new friend at the same time.

Costs of Live-in Dementia Care

The cost of elderly care in general and dementia care, in particular, can often be favourably compared with the fees for residential or nursing home care. Your loved one should be eligible for attendance allowance, a benefit that is not means tested, and possibly for other financial support if their assets are lower than a threshold figure. If they have to pay for their private care, there are various ways to fund this, including equity release schemes.

When you consider that your loved one will be receiving one-to-one assistance with someone in the home to keep an eye on them 24 hours a day, it is surprising how little live-in care can cost.

Who Would Benefit from Live-in Care?

If your loved one lives alone, and particularly if they have been recently bereaved, the companionship a live-in carer can offer can be very beneficial. Those who need assistance with personal care but do not want to wait for domiciliary care visits to use the toilet or to get dressed will enjoy the flexibility of having someone there 24/7 to help at any time.

Some people with dementia can be at risk of hurting themselves because they do not always recognise danger. A carer who can help to manage risks and be on hand to persuade your loved one to keep safe will give both you and your relative peace of mind.

If household tasks such as cleaning or cooking have become too much, but your loved one still wants to be involved in running the house, the home care assistant will work with them to do as much as they are able. Feeling independent is important to a person’s self-esteem, and sensitive input from a live-in carer can promote this.

Live-in carers can also help with tasks such as pet care or taking your loved one out for trips or appointments. The familiarity provided by having someone they can trust on hand at all times can make it easier for someone with dementia to cope with the challenges that their condition brings.

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