How do You Know when Dementia Care is Needed?

As we get older it’s not unusual to become a little less sharp mentally or even a bit forgetful.

At what point should you become concerned that a loved one is developing dementia and might need specialist care? And if care is needed, what should you look for?

Every individual is different. We all have our own views and attitudes about residential care. And in every case there are different levels of support available from family members and friends. This makes it more or less impossible to set a universal benchmark for when somebody will need specialist residential dementia care.

When Should You be Concerned?

Concerns usually arise when dementia starts affecting everyday life. For example, a relative finds it difficult to complete familiar tasks like cooking or washing, gets confused about time and place or persistently misplaces items by leaving them in illogical places.

None of these automatically mean it’s time for specialist residential care. But it does mean there are care needs that need to be properly assessed. This will give you and your relative a clearer picture of the care options available.

Each case is different and everyone should, as far as is possible, make their own decisions about the care they need. The situation is more acute and sensitive if somebody can no longer care for themselves or live safely in their own home.

Choosing a Dementia Care Home

If residential dementia care is the best option, your local council will give you a list of suitable homes. Checking

online reviews and CQC inspection reports is a helpful place to start but won’t necessarily tell you what will be the best choice for a particular person.

We could give you a list of objective criteria to help you choose a home, but sometimes it comes down to the home that ‘feels right’. This could be about the standard of the accommodation and the range of activities on offer.

Or, it might just be about the staff and how interested they seem in learning about your relative (their personal history, likes and dislikes, for example) and meeting their individual needs.

Visit the homes on the shortlist, take as long as you need to make the right decision, and involve your relative as much as possible.

Dementia Care at Sherborne House

Sherborne House in Yeovil specialises in dementia care. The care we offer is professional and compassionate and very much centred around the needs of each individual. Our team aims to balance care and personal safety with wellbeing, independence and quality of life.

If you’d like to discuss dementia care needs in general or take a look around Sherborne House please get in touch.

Lack of Dementia Friendly Housing is a Major Issue in the UK

One feature of the UK’s housing crisis that rarely gets attention is the severe lack of dementia friendly housing. Compared with countries like Australia, France and the Netherlands we have a major lack of options for people with dementia once their condition makes their existing home unsuitable.

There are modifications that can be made to most homes that would make them more suitable for a person with dementia. Age UK has published a range of helpful ideas on their website.  Modifications will be easier and cheaper to carry out in some properties than others.

Sometimes, modifying a home sufficiently may not be feasible. And sometimes the particular impairments experienced by a person with dementia may make living in their home (even with modifications) unsuitable.

And here’s where life can get difficult. Even many retirement properties have not been designed, decorated or equipped with dementia in mind. Residential care may become the best, or in some cases, the only viable option. But even here there can be problems if the home is not set up to cater for dementia residents.

The Dementia Friendly Care Home

The environment within the care home is critical. Without careful thought and adaptation, a care home could become a bewildering and unsettling place to live, particularly for a new resident who has to get used to new surroundings, people and routines.

The interior decor makes a huge difference in making the living space calming and manageable. Avoiding busy patterns will make the environment easier to deal with and colour contrasts can be used to help residents easily find their way to the toilet or their bedroom. Additionally, memory triggers and familiar images from a relevant era help residents feel more at home and relaxed and can help with navigation.

Sherborne House specialises in care for people with dementia. We’ve specifically designed and decorated the interior to ensure that our residents with dementia feel at ease and supported, and able to live as independently as possible. To find out more, contact us today on 01305 206 140.

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