How live-in care can help you or a loved one living with Dementia
There are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, with this number set to rise to more than 1 million in the next eight years.
The word ‘dementia’ describes a medical condition of the brain that can cause symptoms such as memory loss; difficulties with language, thinking and problem solving; impaired reasoning; and changes to behaviour or personality. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, but it comes in a variety of different guises.
Dementia is a very cruel disease and can be extremely distressing. The person with the condition has to cope with losing their memories and sense of self, while family members have to see their loved one changing before their eyes, as well as having to ensure that their basic needs are met and that they are kept safe – a situation that can be exhausting.
The Trouble With Dad
The effect of dementia and how it impacts on the patient and their loved ones is explored in ‘The Trouble With Dad’ – a programme by David Baddiel which documents his dad Colin’s struggle with Pick’s disease, a form of dementia which causes symptoms such as dis-inhibition, swearing and extreme rudeness.
Colin was diagnosed with the condition eight years ago and now needs round-the-clock care. However, David and his brother Ivor struggled to find Colin a place at a residential care home, largely due to the extreme behaviour triggered as a result of his condition. Having been rejected from several care homes, David and Ivor eventually turned to live in care as a solution for Colin’s complex support needs.
While many dementia sufferers are cared for by family members, there often comes a point in the patient’s condition where it is too much for a family to cope with alone and they need to seek specialist support. But as David and Ivor discovered, a care home is not always the best solution for dementia sufferers.
Dementia is can be an incredibly disorientating condition and many sufferers respond best when they can maintain a familiar routine. Carers in a residential home often work on shift pattern, so residents are cared for by different people from one day to the next. To someone with dementia, this change in routine can be both confusing and distressing. Many care homes also lack the necessary resources and staff numbers to provide specialist support for challenging conditions such as Colin’s.
For many dementia patients and their families, hiring a live-in carer can be the perfect solution. With live-in care, a dedicated carer lives in the patient’s home, providing round-the-clock care. Personalised care plans are developed in conjunction with the patient and their family, to ensure the care and support provided is tailored and personalised to their condition, personality and preferred routines.
Live-in care also has the advantage of enabling people to stay in their own home, surrounded by familiar things and able to maintain regular contact with familiar people. Research has shown that even as people lose their memories and sense of self, they still retain a connection to people and their environment, so enabling them to stay in familiar surroundings can help engender an important sense of security.
We all want to look after our loved ones, but caring for a family member with dementia can be a difficult and isolating experience. ‘The Trouble With Dad’ highlights the wide-ranging impacts a dementia diagnosis can have on a family, but, perhaps more importantly, it also reinforces the need for good live-in care that can cope with complex conditions such as dementia and puts the needs of the patient first.
To find out more how we can help you or a loved one living with Dementia, please call our care team on: 0800 471 4741