Dementia care homes play a very important role in supporting some of the most vulnerable elderly people in the UK. The Alzheimer’s Society states that of the 750,000 people with dementia, one third are living in care homes.
People with dementia usually do not have complex physical health needs requiring nursing care, but they do require specialist understanding of the condition and its effects.
A care home must be registered as providing dementia care, under the EMI category. But even within this category, there is widespread variation. Most care homes will manage well with individuals who have a fairly passive type of dementia, who will require assistance eating, regular routines and support around confusion.
However, not all homes will be able to manage with people who are very prone to wandering or aggression. If this is the case, your relative will need a dementia care home with high staff to resident ratios and careful planning to manage the impact of the condition upon behaviour to ensure they are safe and well cared for.
Full and detailed discussion of needs
It is very important that you have a full and detailed discussion with the home manager about all aspects of your relative’s behaviour and needs. Care home placements for people with dementia can and do break down which is distressing for the individual and their family. It is therefore vital that individual needs are fully understood and the care home can ensure they are able to manage all potential behaviour.
Planning ahead after a diagnosis of dementia
In general terms, people with early onset dementia (during sixties and early seventies) are more susceptible to an aggressive form of the condition and are therefore likely to require a specialist dementia care home.
If dementia develops later in life, during eighties and nineties and if an individual is already settled in a care home, staff can normally manage behaviour well and address individual needs and will do all they can to ensure the individual can stay within their care home.
How well care homes are able to manage with people who have dementia will also depend upon the mixture of residents they have. For example, if a care home already has several people who are prone to wandering, they may not be able to accept new residents with dementia which manifests in that form.
For more information about dementia care homes and the needs of your relative please contact us and we can arrange for an adviser to carry out a full individual assessment.