Finding The Best Care For a Loved One Living With Dementia
As people age they can become nostalgic, forgetful and sedentary. So it can come as huge shock to learn that your loved one is not simply suffering from old age but is suffering from dementia and will progress from forgetting the butter they went shopping for or nostalgically recalling events in their life to not knowing who their day to day carers are.
Caring for your loved one yourself
With modern treatments and support many people suffering from dementia can remain independent for a long time so you may find yourself beginning to take on the role of carer. Fetching shopping, ensuring medication has been taken and that appointments are attended are some of the ways you can help whilst your loved one is still living on their own.
However, there will come a time when you realise that they are too unwell to continue to live independently. Once the risk of falls or accidents caused by forgetfulness rises too high you will need to look for alternatives.
Isn’t a specialist care home the best option then?
The option that may seem most obvious is to move your relative to a care home that has specially trained dementia nurses who can support them and care for them in the most appropriate way. However the “trauma” of moving from a safe, familiar, relaxed environment of their home to the more regimented care home can cause a massive decline in your loved one’s health and ability to care for themselves.
What about a “Granny flat”?
Another option you could consider is moving your loved one into your spare room – or even creating an annexe where they can live with greater supervision. Whilst this means they can continue to be cared for by familiar faces there is still the issue of moving out of their own home and into different surroundings to contend with.
We don’t want to move in with them to provide care!
You don’t have to. An alternative to a care home place is to hire homecare services from a company that can provide carers specialising in caring for elderly people with dementia. For those who need full-time care a live in carer can be provided who will stay with your loved one 24 hours a day if required.
But we can’t afford a carer!
Live-in care is surprisingly similar in price to nursing home care and offers a real alternative. It is especially helpful for elderly people who are still living with their spouse or pets as they can continue to live in familiar surroundings, with familiar faces – in some cases until they pass peacefully away.
Take your time
Researching your options when you first learn that your relative is suffering from dementia allows you to choose the best course of action for them. Take your time to visit some care homes and meet some live-in carers to choose which seems to be best for your family.