Impact of Homecare for Dementia Patients
- 83% of respondents said being able to live at home was very important.
- 59% say being part of the community is very important.
- The natural preferred option to a care home.
- Reduce Alzheimer's disease progression.
- Feel comfortable and safe in a familiar environment.
- More stimulating with a carer and friends and family still visiting easily.
Disorientating Traumatic Disease Eased with Specialist Care
They're confused and frustrated. You may become increasingly tired and short tempered. Now your family is faced with a new challenge... Dementia. It's a life-changing blow. For this reason, looking after your loved one generates practical lifestyle issues. Making adjustments to life with dementia care causes worry. Understandably, it's an upsetting and difficult time.
For this reason, your family and friends may rally around with help and support. Once a day visits can turn into multiple daily visits, until, at some point, specialist dementia care is needed... as you may be struggling to cope with your new normal.
During this time, your loved one can feel vulnerable. Their condition progresses. Usually, dementia sufferers experience memory and cognition and function problems amongst many others. Eventually, they rely on others more and more to do everyday tasks.
Notably, there are many types of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is common and most familiar. Although, there are others including vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. Amongst a number of different conditions affecting the brain, there are Alzheimer’s disease precursors, mild cognitive impairment and subjective cognitive impairment.
What's more, they're often not isolated. The symptoms of dementia can intertwine with other neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
In fact, the Alzheimer’s Society's research shows that...
7 in 10 people living with dementia are also living with another medical condition.
Studies have shown that:
- 41 per cent have high blood pressure
- 32 per cent have depression
- 27 per cent have heart disease
- 18 per cent have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (mini stroke)
- 13 per cent have diabetes
The severity of someone’s dementia can have consequences on their ability to manage their other conditions.
Whatever your loved one’s diagnosed medical conditions, it's clear to see they'll need some expert care and support.
Exceptional care. They discovered my mother's interests to developed a relationship. Then experience them together making her life more entertaining.
We're really happy with the care. Live-in care has made an impact. Our mum interacts more. Goes out and chats with people in the community. Overall, she's happier.
Just wonderful care. Home care has given me a purpose, dreams, and the desire to plan out my coming days. Now, I look forward to things to come.
Superb care and attention. They do everything for my dad. I don’t know what I'd do without live-in care. They give him a much healthier life.
We're amazed by such selfless and devoted care. My wife's every need was catered for with loving hands by someone trustworthy.
Carer lights up life. I'm really grateful. My dad's life has been transformed. His spirits are high from the professional and fun care. He enjoys the company and outings. Thank you.
Somehow just saying thank you doesn't seem like enough. But I hope you know how much your thoughtfulness has meant to me.
Patient, calm, and funny. Mum's left in good hands. She's always happy dancing and joking around. They've become good friends.
Receive High-Level & Experienced Dementia Care
In contrast, research into the live-in care industry by the Alzheimer’s Society found caregivers need more training.
Only 2 per cent of people affected by dementia say homecare workers ‘have enough dementia training’. Half (49 per cent) of people affected by dementia ‘disagree’ that ‘homecare workers understand the specific needs of people with dementia’.
Clearly, there's a great deal more that can be done. Adequate training and experience go a long way to help everyone involved. It's not just your relative and other dementia sufferers that agonise, the care worker bears a sharp mental abrasion too. In the end, carers without sufficient training refuse to live with or make further visits to someone with dementia. They expressed feelings of helplessness and felt so unprepared.
That's why it is vital your loved one receives experienced care with a high level of dementia care education.
With that in mind, it's common to believe a dementia care home would be the best place for your loved one. However, it's never that simple as dementia patients still have our natural desire to live independently.[3,4] In fact, the Alzheimer’s Society's research shows...
83% of respondents said being able to live at home was very important to the person with dementia.
Even though people with dementia are inflicted with mental disabilities, they're still able to express our basic motives. We may feel "it's for the best" to place them in a specialist care home, although, reality can be very different. In all honesty, your loved one is no doubt still lucid enough to know what is happening. In spite of varying degrees of cognitive impairment. They are aware. It is disorientating. Therefore, being moved away from their home can be traumatic.
Under those circumstances, your relative may become isolated and depressed. Develop anxiety. Resist care and express behavioural disturbances if correct measures are not taken by the care facility. Actually, dementia care home residents are known for their attempts to escape... that's why many care homes lock them in. Again, they know they are being locked in. They may feel like a prisoner, which adds to the negative experience.
I wish I could have continued care-in-the-home for my step-mother. She deteriorated so fast in a care home. They drugged her to "stop her distress" and soon after, she died. They showed no care at all.D. Tom, Bucks
Homecare vs Care Home
for Dementia Patients
- On better days, the patient is not confused about why they are in a care home.
- Their own home is filled with happy, stimulating and comforting memories.
- Patients in their own home are less likely to be awake during the nights. If they do struggle to sleep, there is someone there on a one-to-one basis.
- Daily routines & relationships can be established or maintained with personalised home care.
- Continuous care & supervision may be needed at all times to guide them.
- Homecare provides increased reassurance for family and loved ones.
- Care homes can have dedicated suites for dementia care. Although this is a good idea but in practice, they can be confusing and noisy environments.
- Being adequately stimulated in the day often means that sleep patterns are often improved.
To be frank, history doesn't paint a pretty picture. With research showing only around 50% of advanced dementia nursing home residents "surviving beyond a year". And if they were sick during that time, with pneumonia, for example, their chances of survival shorten. Plus, "participants diagnosed with Alzheimer disease were more likely to die".[5,6,7]
Actually, to be fair, some research suggests "Alzheimer's disease was associated with reduced mortality risk in traditional long-term care facilities". Although, the authors state "The reasons for these findings deserve further investigation". While a current study may shed some light...
...Researchers estimating the survival of elderly patients diagnosed with dementia found thirteen mortality risk factors. These included age, sex, and a host of medical condition and treatments. So it would seem a cascade of circumstances greatly affects the risk of death rather than a dementia diagnosis alone.
Nevertheless, we can see the benefits of staying at home. As one published paper revealed a link between delayed long-term-care placement and dementia patients living longer. This reduced risk of death in Alzheimer's disease could not only give you more time with your loved one as the average length of stay for people admitted to nursing beds is around 12 months and 27 months for residential beds, but it could reduce the Alzheimer's disease's progression too.[10,11]
Another study looking at the effects of moving dementia sufferers out of their home and into a nursing home found "rapid progression of patients into more severe disease stages"... The patients declined. Their Alzheimer's disease advanced. And it was prominent in males under 65 expressing behavioural symptoms.
On the whole, it's as clear as mud. As there are other reports comparing Alzheimer's home care to nursing homes found no clear benefit either way.
In essence, you'll have to weigh up all of the factors affecting your loved one... What stage of the disease are they in? How strongly do they feel about staying at home? Because forcing them into a care home may send them to despair. How involved are they in their community? As the Alzheimer’s Society found...
...59% say being part of the community is very important to people with dementia...
...Is your family member male or female. Older or younger - As their life expectancy could be 5, 10, even 20 years after diagnosis. Do they have any other illnesses? And what do they love in life that they might have to give up due to moving into residential or nursing care? Maybe a pet or their garden or having neighbours, friends, and family drop by whenever it suits.
Ultimately, specialist dementia care will be required. The case becomes clear when your relative needs 24-hour dementia care. With that, an overlooked option is dementia care at home. Despite this, more and more families are choosing to give their loved one dedicated help with live-in dementia care. Which makes sense when you look at it through your loved one's eyes. Being that a change of environment and routine can intimidate and heighten fears.
For this reason, dementia home care, where your loved one is able to stay in the comfort of their own home, might just be the best option. They'll be happy at home in familiar surroundings... a place they know and love. They'll still be able to enjoy the things they love - being in the garden, going for treasured walks - maybe with their dog - in their community. Your loved one can spend uncontrolled time with sons and daughters and grandchildren throughout the week, on the weekend and in the holidays. But most importantly, you no longer need to worry.
With dementia care in their own home, your family member can continue living independently while being supported by a professional, experienced and trained, live-in carer. A dedicated personal touch going above and beyond the standard service to help improve your loved one's quality of life.
No matter the stage of their condition, our specialist dementia home care provides around the clock, one-to-one, care with a friendly face. Therefore, your loved one is safe in the comfort of their own home. In short, your relative will receive a flexible service care-homes cannot accommodate.