Should I put my loved one with dementia in a care facility?

Should I put my loved one with dementia in a care facility?

Once you learn that someone you care about has dementia, you embark on a difficult journey with many big decisions to be made along the way. Not the least of these is whether you should care for your loved one at home or place them in the care of a dedicated facility. Both options have pros and cons and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. For instance, if you follow the home care route, you’ll know that your dear one is in the place that they know and love, but you might be worried about their safety if someone is not available to care for them around the clock.

Here are some aspects to consider during your decision-making process:

1. Level of expertise required

Most people with dementia require minimal/no clinical intervention, except for medication management. However, one of the most alarming aspects of dementia is the sudden and unexpected behaviour changes that often accompany the condition. Whether you care for your loved one at home or place them in a dedicated facility, lots of patience and compassion will be required. In this respect, knowledge is power. Learn as much as you can about the condition. As the disease progresses the acuity level of care needed may increase and it may become more difficult to provide adequate care at home, especially if you are the sole caregiver.

2. Safety of your loved one

When a relative has dementia, their safety is priority – whether from outside influences or their own actions. While most facilities will have measures in place to ensure safety, you may have to make some adaptations at home, especially if vision and depth perception have been affected or if your loved one is prone to wandering.

3. Personal wellbeing and quality of life

Dementia should not restrict anyone from living life to the full, nor should it undermine their dignity or sense of self-worth. As dementia progresses, needs have to be continually monitored and evaluated. The best care decision for the present might change over time.

4. Support

Whether you place your loved one in a care facility or care for them at home, they (and you) will need support. Do you have access to a multidisciplinary team who can help you forge the path ahead? Is there a support group that you can join? Caregiver burnout is a very real concern – do not hesitate to ask for help and do not blame yourself if you are unable to bare the care burden alone.

Should you decide to make use of the services of a dedicated care facility, be sure to enquire about the following:

1. Care ratios

Is the carer to patient ratio appropriate? At the Villa at Nazareth Care (our dedicated dementia care facility), we determine care ratios according to the acuity level of the resident and the personalised care plan. While most people with dementia require minimal supervision, this may change over time as the disease progresses. We continuously monitor needs to ensure that care is adapted accordingly. Residents’ care and quality assessments are done by our in-house multi-disciplinary team to ensure that clinical care interventions for each resident is appropriate.

2. Staff knowledge

Is the staff qualified to deal with the specialised needs of someone living with dementia? At Nazareth Care, we provide continuous staff training specific to dementia care. We have also partnered with international specialist in the field of dementia care, Dr Rayne Stroebel, to ensure we stay in line with best practices nationally and internationally. Furthermore, we offer regular dementia support groups for families and the greater community.

3. Safety

Is the facility safe? This is the most basic requirement, and we take it very serious at The Villa. Residents are protected by restricted access control and 24-hour security, while calm, compassionate carers are on-hand to assist should they become overwhelmed or confused.

4. Freedom of movement

While wandering and eloping is a real concern, you also don’t want your loved one to feel confined. The Villa is an access-controlled, “free movement” area. It is designed to resemble the freedom of one’s own house.

5. Suitability of surroundings

A certain amount of decline is to be expected when people age, especially in terms of vision and depth perception. However, for those with dementia, these difficulties can prove exceptionally challenging, as the way they perceive the world around them may also be changing. Architectural and interior designs such as lighting, décor, furnishings and even colours at The Villa were chosen with this in mind.

Get in touch

Are you ready to experience the passionate staff, professional care, and inclusive community in our homes exclusively tailored for older persons? Take the first step towards a life of comfort, companionship, and comprehensive support for you or your loved one. Contact us today to schedule a personalized tour and discover how Nazareth Care can enhance your well-being, safety and quality of life. We will be your most trusted partner in ageing.

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