With around 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and predictions that this number will rise to 1.6 million people by 2040, most of us will know someone either now or in the future who is living with dementia or be living with it ourselves.
In the early stage of dementia many people manage to live independently, often with support from family and friends, but as a person’s dementia progresses their care and support needs usually increase, which can leave informal caregivers struggling to cope. If you are in this position, you may be wondering what dementia care is available and what to do for the best? In this blog we aim to answer those questions and empower you to make the decisions that are right for your circumstances.
When might you need dementia care services?
The answer to this question will vary from person-to-person and family-to-family. Every person’s dementia presents differently, and with over 100 different types of dementia the spectrum of symptoms and experiences varies hugely.
For some families, they find they can provide the majority of care but need to access respite care services periodically to ensure they have a break. For other families who have numerous additional commitments, perhaps with children or work, or who live geographically a long way from their relative with dementia, companionship care services can be an ideal choice to implement early on in their relative’s dementia. Companionship care ensures there is a professional on-hand to provide some light support and make sure a person isn’t lonely, with the option for more comprehensive care in the future if it’s needed.
What does dementia care include?
Professional care for a person with dementia includes personal care, support with nutrition and hydration, help to take medication, mobility assistance and support to exercise, falls prevention, and support to maintain hobbies, interests and activities, as well as access to non-drug therapies such as music, art and sensory therapies. All dementia care should be underpinned with a comprehensive understanding of communication to ensure that the person can be supported to maintain as much independence, choice and control as possible no matter how advanced their dementia is.
Many people who are living with dementia also live with other conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and arthritis, and may as a result of their dementia go on to develop conditions such as dysphagia (swallowing problems). It is important, therefore, that dementia care supports the person in a holistic way, so that they can live as well as possible with their dementia and any other conditions that they have.
What dementia care services are available?
Domiciliary/homecare: This is where carers visit a person with dementia for a set amount of time and for a set number of times a day/week. This can be helpful if a person with dementia is reasonably independent and isn’t lonely. Home care worker visits are also useful if a family carer provides the majority of their relative’s care but needs assistance with certain aspects at set points in the day/week.
Care homes: Some families opt for a care home because they want their relative to have 24/7 professional care. This can be helpful if a person with dementia likes socialising with others in a communal environment, and doesn’t mind leaving their home either temporarily (for respite care) or permanently (for full-time care).
Live-in care: This is the only option that enables a person with dementia to have 24/7 professional care but remain in their own home, with a live-in carer to provide as much support as the person needs. ENA live-in care can be provided alongside family carer support or as a complete care package, and all of our live-in carers are highly trained and vetted, with many having extensive dementia care experience.
Try ENA live-in dementia care for yourself
At ENA we understand how difficult it can be for a person with dementia and/or their family to decide on the right professional dementia care choice for their unique circumstances. That is why we offer different packages of live-in care that don’t involve a long-term commitment so that you/your relative can decide if live-in care is for you.
• Our live-in care trial lasts for a minimum of two weeks or a maximum of four weeks and does exactly what it suggests – it lets you try live-in care to see if it works for you/your relative.
• Our interim care lasts for four to six weeks, and is the ideal choice if you need a comprehensive care package to enable a person with dementia to be safely discharged from hospital while you consider all of your long-term care options.
• Our respite care can be tailored to the needs of a person with dementia and their family, with flexible duration options that can help family carers to take a break, go on holiday or look after their own health needs if they require an operation or other medical procedure.
Any of these options can be extended into a long-term live-in care arrangement if the person with dementia (and their family if they have one) want this. Our live-in care can also increase in the amount of support provided, including complex care and end-of-life care, if this is needed.
Find out more about how ENA Care Group could support you or your family by calling 0800 4334 413 or emailing .