Dementia care | Finding the right home
A person with Dementia needs more care & support as their condition progresses, and there may come a time when they will need to move to more permanent care.
Choosing a Dementia Home
A person with dementia will need more care and support as their condition progresses, and there may come a time when they will need to move into full-time or residential care. This could be because a care home may be able to meet the needs of the person better. Or, it could be because something changes that then makes it difficult for the person with dementia to stay living at home.
It can be hard to know when the time is right for a person with dementia to move into a care home and who should make this decision if the person cannot make it themselves.
Our staff have many years’ experience within Health and Social care and our passionate about providing, the managers will use that experience to help you make the right decision as to the support your loved one may need.
A good care home will follow the principles of person-centred care. This approach aims to see the person with dementia as an individual, rather than focusing on their illness or on abilities they may have lost. … Person-centred care also means treating residents with dignity and respect.
Care homes that follow the philosophy of person-centred care aim to bring out the best in the people with dementia who live there. Each home has its own written philosophy, or mission statement, based on this concept. This should influence every aspect of life in the home and makes it possible to measure how well the home is living up to its standards at any time.
The Best Indicators of a Good Care Home
The best indication of a good home is that the residents appear happy & responsive and that individuals are treated with dignity and respect:
- Do staff speak to residents in a way the residents like?
- Are residents involved in activities or chatting?
- Are they properly dressed and well-groomed?
- Do they seem alert and interested?
- Do they talk to you as you walk around?
- Are they encouraged to do as much for themselves as they can – and if so, can you see any examples of this?
However pleasant the home itself may be, ask yourself:
- Will it be easy for visitors to get to the home?
- Are there facilities such as shops, a park, or a pub within walking distance, for residents who enjoy going out?
- Is there much noise from traffic, or anything else?
If the person with dementia is likely to need equipment or adaptations:
- Are the corridors and toilets wide enough for a walking frame or wheelchair?
- Are there suitably adapted toilets and baths?
- Are there ramps or a lift?
- Can residents have a single room?
- Are residents encouraged to bring in some of their own furniture and possessions?
- Are the bedrooms bright and pleasant?
- Can residents go to their rooms when they wish to be alone?
- Can residents keep pets in their rooms, or in other areas of the home?
- Do staff respect people’s right to privacy, and knock on bedroom doors?
- Is there somewhere for visitors to sit in the room?
- Is there adequate storage space?
Sensory rooms and sensory environments
People living with dementia can benefit greatly from exposure to soothing and gently stimulating sensory environments – this can include items such as coloured lights, soothing music, calming aromas, and interesting textures to appeal to the senses.
Sensory rooms were developed for this purpose in the 1970s. Research conducted by Dr Collier at the University of Southampton found that if a sensory environment was adapted to an individual’s needs with dementia, improvement in performance, mood and behaviour could be achieved (Collier, L, and Jakob, A. 2016).
It may be impractical to devote an entire room in the home to sensory stimulation. Also, some people with dementia may feel overwhelmed or disorientated with too much stimulation. For this reason, aspects of the home environment could be adapted to make both the indoor and outdoor environment appealing to the senses. For example, here at Fourways Dementia Care Home we have designed a new Woodlands Walk area which provides stimulation by bringing the outside in for our residents by providing binoculars, window bird feeders, wildlife books, pot plants, indoor trees, astro turf rugs for texture feeling with a quiet seating area where people can enjoy the garden view.
People with dementia may experience problems with eating and drinking. There are many reasons this might happen.
- forget to eat or drink
- experience difficulties preparing food or drinks
- have difficulty recognising food items
- have a change in appetite or taste
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important for a person’s physical and mental health. Not eating and drinking enough can increase the risk of dehydration, weight loss, a urinary tract infection and constipation. These health problems can be particularly problematic for someone with dementia as they can increase confusion and the risks of delirium, and sometimes make the symptoms of dementia worse.
Helping a person with dementia to maintain a healthy diet can be difficult for the people caring for them. This leaflet aims to provide some positive tips on ways to help.
It is important to consider the person’s likes and dislikes regarding food, however, tastes do change throughout our lives. These changes may be more pronounced for someone with dementia. They may find certain colours, textures or smells off-putting or sometimes eat certain foods they previously would not have. An increasingly sweet tooth is common. This and other factors may make it more difficult for the person to stick to specific diets such as those for people with diabetes or coeliac disease, or those with religious or cultural needs.
Understanding the person’s previous relationship with food, as well as any cultural or religious reasons for avoiding food or drink, will be useful.
Poor appetite and weight loss are quite common as dementia progresses. But there are also medical reasons why a person may have lost interest in food and drink, which your GP or perhaps your dentist could advise on. These include:
- depression, which can lead to poor appetite
- mouth pain and dental problems, which can lead to discomfort and a reluctance to eat or drink
- constipation, which can make a person feel full and nauseous
- infections or other physical illness
Get in touch!
We’d love to hear from you. Welcome any questions you may have.
Tel: 01276 31838