Dementia home care is a popular alternative to day centres or nursing/care homes. For many elderly people, this will be the first introduction to a care service and is best started in the early stages of living with dementia. This allows the person living with dementia to get used to people outside immediate family working with them, if you don’t engage external services until late in the dementia pathway then it is far harder to engage the individual and to gain their trust. Learn more about early intervention here >>
If home care is something you are considering for your loved one, in this article, we explain a bit more about our dementia home care service, the benefits of home care and how we can introduce you to our team of expert staff.
How does dementia home care work?
Atlas Care is unique in being able to take the tried and tested therapies they use in their meeting centres into the homes of individuals with the aim of maintaining independence and slowing disease progress. However, all providers of home care services will work closely with the individual to ensure that they are receiving the care and attention that they require. Home care for dementia patients should always work on a bespoke plan, so no 2 individuals will receive the exact same experience. Each person’s experience of dementia is unique and requires a unique perspective.
Whilst the majority of the care is done in the persons’ home, a good carer will also incorporate day trips into their sessions with the individual. Day trips provide many benefits including the opportunity for reminiscence, reduction in sun-down syndrome, confidence-boosting and health benefits when spending time outdoors.
What are the benefits of getting dementia help at home?
In the early diagnosis of dementia, some individuals don’t want to feel like they have lost their independence, and will still want to live their normal life and follow the same routines. Dementia home care can help ensure that this still happens, and provides some of the following benefits:
- Support in the individual’s own home provides a more familiar environment reducing the risk of disorientation or confusion
- Ensures that the individual is focusing on their health and wellbeing
- Can provide them with a bespoke activity plan to ensure they stay active and social
- Provides extra support for family members
- Allows individuals to become comfortable with the support of strangers and care professionals so that as the disease progresses they are more open to outside help.
- Slows down the deterioration of the disease using memory techniques and therapy sessions
What can I expect from the 1st meeting?
The first meeting with one of our home assessors should be relaxed and informal, it is not about care but about building a friendship or trusting relationship. Ideal home support is when both enabler and the individual form a fun bond and enjoy their time together. The assessment should also be a time for family to validate the person visiting so that the individual living with dementia feels confident and will accept future visits. Finally, this first visit also provides our staff with the opportunity to assess them and the level of support they require more closely.
Our expert home carers will explain the therapies they may use when visiting and how a good relationship is created in more detail and also other options such as dementia day care, which can prevent the deterioration of the disease.
How often should my loved one receive home care?
This depends on two elements… is the home enablement designed to offer respite to a family care giver or to improve the individual’s quality of life? If the aim is to offer some much needed rest and respite to the informal care giver then the home service may need to be frequent and last several hours to offer meaningful rest (in these cases the person with dementia maybe be in the later stages). These visits could be anything from 2 hours everyday to 3 visits a week lasting a half or whole day.
However, if the desired outcome is to offer the individual living with dementia more independence and social connection, improving their quality of life and offering mental stimulation. Then the visits could be more targeted (i.e 1 hour on a Wednesday to visit the museum) or 2 hours once a week to do some exercise and work through some games for cognitive stimulation. Often the individual in these cases might be earlier in their diagnosis.
This is sometimes paired with other levels of care too, such as visits to memory cafes, classes (such as our Ness Shed pottery classes) or full day sessions (like the ones we hold at The Ness Dementia Centre). Our expert enablers will be able to recommend the best level of care for your loved one.
Home care, day centre or care home – which option is best?
This is very much down to care needs of the individual and their personal preferences. In some cases, it just isn’t feasible for someone living with dementia to stay living in their own home, which is when a dementia care home will need to be considered. However, a misconception in dementia care is that the individual needs no specialist support and can do without home care or day care.
It is recommended that in all cases and as early as possible individuals should link with a home service, a day service and a memory café. The risk is that if this doesn’t happen the individual and family quickly become isolated, the disease can deteriorate and later in the journey it becomes harder for care professionals to engage with the individual. Personality, social background and the unique progression of the disease should direct the family towards a type of support. For example, an extrovert personality may enjoy group activities more than 1:1 support, while someone who enjoys a specific hobby but needs someone to support them to continue may benefit from home care.
Who will care for my loved one at home?
All the home enablers at Atlas Respite and Therapy are professionally trained and have experience working with those living with dementia of all stages.
Our expertise allows us to be best placed in providing a care plan, which will incorporate many dementia techniques, therapies and treatments, such as:
- Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST)
- Art & music therapy
- Validation therapy
Many of the pioneering treatments we use are also used in our day centres, which you can find out more about in this article here.
How do I book a home visit?
If you are looking to arrange help for a loved one at home, we would be happy to discuss a date and time for one of our carers to pop over for an initial visit. This will be free of charge and will allow you and your loved one to ask any questions they have before committing to any arrangement.