Helping you take a positive step: choosing the right longstay care for someone with dementia
Choosing long term residential care for a relative who can no longer stay at home, even with support, can be tricky. But when they have dementia it can be even more difficult.
Ideally, moving into a home will be a decision taken with the person affected, but with a dementia patient they are unlikely to be able to take an active role in deciding what’s best. That can put more pressure on their loved ones. You want to come to terms with opting for residential care before a crisis point is reached. That way you have time to plan ahead and research all the options.
If, however, a sudden decision needs to be taken to admit someone to long stay dementia care, perhaps because the situation for the carer has deteriorated quickly and become too much of a strain, then there may be few choices available.
It may simply be a case of taking a place in whichever home has an available bed. And that may not be the best place for family for a whole range of reasons.
The Benefits of Planning Ahead
However difficult it may be, you should aim to plan ahead for long stay dementia care. That way the family has time to find the right home and organise a smooth transition for both the new care home resident and those who have been caring for them. It will be a big adjustment for all involved.
It’s important to remember that you are not letting the person down by considering residential care it can be a positive choice for the benefit of everyone. There is little to be gained by carers themselves becoming ill because of the many stresses and pressures of looking after their loved one.
In addition, it may be that a good residential home can actually offer an improved quality of life thanks to well-trained and compassionate staff, a range of amenities that might not be available at home and a?programme of events and entertainment that help to stimulate the residents.
Your local social work department will be able to help you. They will carry out a community care assessment which will take into account the needs of the dementia patient and their carer, and support you through the decision making process.
Choosing the Right Residential Home
Long-term care is provided by residential care homes which provide 24 hour care and support and help with tasks such as washing, dressing, eating and going to the toilet. Nursing homes also offer these services but with the added benefit of 24 hour nursing care.
Social services can help you find the right home, but it’s also definitely worth carrying out your own research. Go and visit as many as you can to get a feel for how good they are. If you can, talk to other people who have relatives in long term care to learn from their experiences.
It’s also worth reading official inspection reports. These are carried out by the Care Quality Commission in England. They will help you to evaluate the standards of care provided by each facility.