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Posted on 30/04/2020

Why dementia care is so much better at home

More families than ever before are being affected by dementia, with current figures suggesting that 52 percent of the UK population (34.5 million people) know someone who has been diagnosed with a form of dementia.

Most types of dementia begin with relatively mild symptoms, but as dementia progresses additional support is likely to be needed, either from family members, friends or neighbours. For unpaid carers, it can be immensely difficult to support a person with dementia if you have little knowledge of their condition and no training.

Whilst excellent resources and advice are available from organisations like The Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia UK and through initiatives like Dementia Carers Count, the time often comes when a person living with dementia and their family begin to consider professional care.

Where does the person with dementia want to be cared for?

It’s well-known that most people with dementia would prefer to remain living in their own home. A landmark report in June 2014 from the Alzheimer’s Society (with statistics from YouGov) entitled ‘Fix Dementia Care – Homecare’ found that, “85% of people would choose to live at home for as long as possible if diagnosed with dementia.”

Meeting these preferences is possible by choosing professional live-in dementia care to provide the support the person needs. When so much can be confusing and feel like it’s changing for a person with dementia, live-in care that is focused on enabling the individual to enjoy a maximum level of independence and choice is something of immense value to a person who is living with dementia.

Routine and familiarity – How live-in care really benefits a person with dementia

Two of the most important aspects of life for a person with dementia are their routine and the familiarity of their surroundings. Live-in care preserves the person’s own routine to provide them with the daily continuity and consistency that they need, but is also a highly flexible form of care so that if the person’s needs change their routine can gradually adapt with them in a personalised way.

Alongside their own routine, the familiarity of the person’s neighbourhood, home and possessions can be very comforting and reassuring. By choosing live-in care, the person remains surrounded by everything that is most familiar to them, and even if the main clues that remind the person where they are fade over time, small details are often still recognised, enabling the person to feel a sense of belonging.

Live-in care outcomes support national dementia care guidelines

We know from experience that some of the more distressing symptoms of dementia are alleviated through having live-in care, and it’s with this in mind that we read with interest the recent Department of Health and Social Care blog from Professor Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

In the blog, Professor Leng talked about improving the quality of dementia care and specifically about the use of antipsychotics. This type of medication is prescribed for the distressing symptoms that are associated with dementia, despite being well-known for causing unpleasant and potentially dangerous side-effects. With live-in dementia care, symptoms like “aggression, anxiety and delusions” that Professor Leng referred to are often reduced, which negates the need to even consider antipsychotic use.

Connecting a person with dementia to the world around them

Live-in dementia care isn’t just about keeping the person safe at home, it can open up a world of possibilities too. Our live-in carers often support clients to get out and about in their local community, including attending support groups to meet other people living with dementia. Many of our carers are also technologically savvy and can support their clients to connect with international support groups, like those run by Dementia Alliance International.

With the companionship of a live-in carer and the opportunities for social connectivity, a person with dementia need never feel alone again.

Find out more about how ENA Care Group could support you or your family by calling 08004 334 413 or emailing care@ena.co.uk.