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Elderly Care at Home: How Do I Find a Dementia Carer?

A dementia diagnosis is distressing both for your elderly loved one and also for you and other family members. There is a tendency to think about everything that will be lost, and you will all need to take time coming to terms with the new challenges you face. However, it is important to focus on quality of life, and with some adjustments, your loved one will be able to retain a good standard of living.

Plan Ahead

Once the diagnosis has been made it’s time to start planning. In the early stages, your loved one will be able to help you put together an appropriate plan of action for managing their care. It is important to include your relative in any decision-making processes as this is empowering and allows him or her to voice their concerns and state their wishes.

Discussing Power of Attorney should be at the forefront of your planning, as sooner or later your loved one will be unable to manage his or her own affairs. Having Power of Attorney in place before it is needed ensures that decisions made further along can be acted upon, without any unnecessary delays.

Talking to loved ones about their wishes gives you the assurance of knowing that you are making decisions that they would have made themselves later on as the disease progresses.

Tackling Fears and Worries

Older people diagnosed with dementia often feel worried that they will end up in a nursing home. With so much negative press concerning the quality of care that dementia sufferers sometimes receive in homes, this is understandably a matter of great concern to them, and also to you and other family members.

Take time to reassure your loved one that you will be there for them, and show them the plan that you have created together to put their mind at rest. They will be accustomed to independent living and are likely to be frightened about the future, so be prepared to answer their concerns with practical solutions.

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.

Care at Home

Arranging care around your loved one in their own home can be helpful in reducing stress. As dementia takes hold of a person’s memory, being surrounded by familiar things is a great comfort. The alien environment of a care home can be particularly distressing for anyone with a failing memory, and many elderly people struggle to cope with the unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells of a residential institution.

In the early stages of the condition, your loved one will probably only need a little assistance with some household tasks. A good provider will offer as little or as much support as is required, with an understanding that care needs will increase as the condition progresses. Check that the home care provider can guarantee a regular carer who has extensive training in dementia and Alzheimer’s care. Being trained or experienced in elderly care is not enough, as dealing with the demands of dementia requires specialist skills and knowledge, along with patience and understanding.

It’s important to introduce as few changes as possible into your loved one’s life, and a good elderly care provider will understand this, using just one or two caregivers to ensure familiarity.

Local authorities can often provide some level of in-home care, but this is unlikely to be a satisfactory long-term solution for anyone with dementia. Social services departments are understaffed and over-subscribed, meaning that the caregiver is often only able to undertake brief visits to carry out basic tasks. To achieve a fuller level of care, you may need to look into private services which will be far more accommodating to yours, and your loved one’s, needs.

Live-in Care

As the condition progresses, your loved one will require increasing levels of support. The caregiver may have to remind them to take medication, offer help with cooking and shopping and assist with social activities. Eventually, in-home care will increase to a level where they will need a dedicated live-in carer to help with dressing and undressing, bathing and toileting. Once again, a familiar face will be less stressful for all concerned.

Private live-in care is an excellent alternative to a care home. Knowing that your elderly relative has 24/7 care will give you peace of mind, and ensure that your loved one is being well looked after at all times.

Call us for expert live-in care advice
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