What are the benefits for dementia patients of being in care homes?

Considering the care needs of a loved one with dementia is a complex and sometimes overwhelming task. Should you try to care for your loved one yourself, at home, so that things remain the same? Should you organise carers to come into the home? Or should you support them to move into a care home so that they can receive care there?

In order to help you with your decision making, here we cover the benefits for dementia patients in care homes. We look at how the setting and arrangement helps your loved one, and your whole family.

Benefits for dementia patients in care homes

·         24/7 staff

With a dementia care home care staff can be taken for granted. They are simply there, 24/7, 365 days a year. You don’t have to settle for a compromise, only caring for a loved one in the available hours you have. Care is always there. You don’t have to settle for anything less than constant care.

What’s more, it’s not your responsibility to organise the care. No rotas to juggle, holidays to cover, or carer sickness to worry about. And you don’t have the burden of employer responsibilities.

·         Experience and expertise

Specifically, the staff are trained and experienced. Caring for an individual with dementia requires insight, knowledge and caring skill. Our dementia care home staff are knowledgeable, for example knowing about sundowning, and how to alleviate this tricky experience for residents. Similarly, our carers are trained in things known to assist dementia sufferers, such as reminiscence therapy. We can also bring in additional support, such as weekly music therapy.

·         Peace of mind

Loving someone with dementia is notoriously hard. You can’t switch off if they are trying to maintain independence in their own home. There’s always the worry of them wandering, falling, forgetting to eat or drink, managing their personal care, or even falling victim to scams. The worry doesn’t stop.

When a dementia patient is in a care home, you get peace of mind, knowing they are safe, even when you can’t be there.

·         Social activities

Isolation is a very problematic issue with the elderly. This is particularly notable with those with dementia. It can lead to loneliness, which the NHS has revealed is as detrimental to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Carers in the home, family members and friends, are unable to individually meet the social needs of an elderly person. Those with dementia will also need activities which are adjusted and made suitable for their needs.

One of the significant benefits for dementia patients in care homes is the social engagement. This is made possible in a care home environment. Activities will be plentiful and varied, keeping residents socially engaged.

·         Stimulation

Similarly, social activities and regular interaction with carers, provides stimulation that is extremely important to an individual living with dementia. Helping an individual to be engaged and gain pleasure from the environment around them is grounding and reassuring.

·         Location

If a family member with dementia remains at home, they will be living in a property chosen and suitable for them at a previous life stage. For example, they may be in a large family home, away from nearby amenities.

A care home is likely to be located with the needs of elderly residents in mind. For example, our Minehead homes are within the town, with all of the amenities of the town nearby, such as transport and doctors. You should also be able to expect that many community health services are available within the home, for example chiropody. Other services, such as hairdressing, should also be available on site. Many families live nearby and have chosen our home so that their loved one can be closer to them.

·         Facilities

Similarly, the individual’s private home will be limited in terms of facilities for the elderly. It is possible to introduce some changes, such as rails or ramps, but it is difficult to compete with the planned layout and facilities of a dedicated residential home.

That’s not to say that care homes won’t feel like home. Care with furnishings, décor and personal items, ensures a home-from-home feel with the safety and security of a professional care environment.

·         Catering

In a care home, all catering needs are taken care of. You don’t need to worry about the preparation or serving of food, nor the clear up afterwards. Furthermore, if your loved one struggles to remember to eat and drink, that becomes the responsibility of the care staff, who are skilled and trained with this.

At Eastleigh, our residents love our food. Check out a sample menu.

·         Your relationship

One of the biggest benefits of using a residential home to provide a loved one’s care is that it allows your relationship to go back onto a more fulfilling level. Without being responsible for care provision anymore, your visits go back to being as they should be. Without the logistical difficulties for caring for someone with dementia, you can focus on social and familial care. Any resentment between you both can ease.

·         Finances

There is no escaping that elder care can be expensive. However, on an hour-by-hour basis, residential dementia care is significantly cheaper and better value for money. All living costs and care costs are part of one overall payment. In addition, there’s the reality that managing one payment is much easier than managing multiple utility bills and other care and housing costs. Maintaining a household and in-home specialist care is complex and expensive.

·         Support for you

We are there for the families of our residents too. We are there to support you during this difficult stage in your loved one’s life. Our experience and knowledge, as well as very real presence, helps to lighten your burden and alleviate some of the stress that this experience can bring.

The benefits for dementia patients in care homes are wide reaching, for both the individual with dementia and the family. It can help to come and see the benefits in person. Come and see the difference a dementia care home can make by giving us a call on 01769 573166.