Dementia is a condition that affects a person’s cognitive abilities. It is more common amongst our elderly community and when diagnosed, it can be rather stressful and overwhelming for both patient and their family members.
For the latter, many worry if they are actually taking good care of their loved one with dementia. “Are they comfortable?”, “Would they forget to switch off the tap?”, “What if they get lost and do not know how to get home?” – are just some of the many questions that plague their minds daily.
At first diagnosis, family members may be tempted to send their loved one to a residential care facility in the hope that they would receive better and adequate care. However, seniors with dementia fare better when they remain at home (circumstances allowing). Here’s why.
People with Dementia Do Better at Home
For anyone, having to move into a foreign facility and learn to get along with new faces and routines is emotionally trying.
Staying at home eliminates such confusion and disorientation as a familiar home setting provides a strong sense of security. Do not underestimate what this does to a person with dementia. Familiar territory, familiar faces, remaining close to what means a lot to them – these bring utmost comfort. In turn, it helps to stabilise their condition / slow down the deterioration.
Having said that, dementia does progress. A patient’s ability to function independently will dwindle and when limitations increase, frustrations arise. This is when you, as a family member, should consider engaging in-home care services.
Benefits of In-Home Care Services for Seniors with Dementia
1. Personalised, One-on-One Care
Compared to nursing homes, patients with dementia are able to receive immediate, one-on-one care from in-home support worker.
There is no need to wait for other patients being attended to first, something which is unavoidable when it comes to nursing homes. In addition, patients are able to receive personalised care that is tailored to their individual conditions instead of a “one size fits all” method that is the former.
In-home caregivers are trained to recognise a myriad of symptoms associated with dementia which may otherwise be overlooked by family members. Any sign of pain or discomfort will be recognised immediately and get attended to swiftly, again, thanks to such one-on-one attention privilege.
Further, in-home support workers have the skills and experience on how to communicate with people with dementia. Through redirection and validation, a patient’s agitation is significantly reduced and this may not be something that most family members are good with.
Looking from the big picture, in-home care points to a better quality of life for seniors with dementia.
2. Familiar Routines Intact
Your loved one is able to follow their usual mealtimes, bedtimes, activity sessions etc. They get to stick to their daily routine, something that they have gotten used to in years.
This is something nursing homes cannot provide. Rather, it is likely that your loved one will have to change their habits to adhere to the nursing home’s guidelines and this could worsen their condition.
It is important to note that routine is vital for people with dementia. Knowing what and when to expect things reduce confusion and anxiety that comes from spontaneity so it is vital that there be a set of daily routine established.
Not only does in-home support workers ensure this be followed, they are able to tweak things to make it more suitable for patients with dementia. For example, breaking down activities into smaller and manageable steps so that patients do not get frustrated or discouraged easily.
3. Remain Close to Family Members
Just like how familiar routines and environment could be comforting to seniors with dementia, in-home care services also provide the benefit of staying close to family members.
No need to suffer from partial isolation, there are always family members present to show love and compassion. On the other hand, if they are to stay at a nursing facility, they would only have a brief couple of hours every day to meet family members.
And the sad truth is, not many family members would have the time to visit their loved one at a facility every day. As we know it, this does nothing good to a senior with dementia.
4. Safety Ensured
In-home care services also help keep your seniors with dementia safe.
Not just through supervision and assistance with daily activities (they count, too) but a professional in-home support worker will also assess the overall safety of the senior’s living condition.
You see, the majority of homes have unmet safety needs. A support worker would check for fall risks and evaluate any wander risk management, as well as determine if certain furniture needs to be rearranged or if assisting gears need to be installed around the house etc.
5. Less Strain on Loved Ones
Last but not least, in-home care services take a good load of burden off from family members.
From assistance with a loved one’s daily living needs such as bathroom use, hygiene tasks, getting dressed etc. to preparing balanced and nutritious meals, a support worker is able to do it all. This includes providing timely medication reminders as well as help around with light household tasks that would otherwise fall on fellow family members.
Do note that with the former, general in-home support workers do not administer medication. They can only remind patients to take their medication so that they do not miss their medication needs but general support workers cannot administer it.
If your loved one would need assistance in this area, you can engage professional nursing care with Absolute Care & Health.
Patients with dementia require a lot of care and attention. Like it or not, as family members, we may not be equipped enough to provide what they need so external help is essential.
If circumstances allow, it is strongly recommended that a senior with dementia remains staying close to their loved ones at home for as long as possible. This would help with their condition and for that, in-home care is integral or dare we say, indispensable.