When should someone with dementia go into a care home?

Caring for a loved one diagnosed with dementia is challenging and can be demanding and stressful.  Whilst we can be focused emotionally on the diagnosis, the main thing to think about is whether your loved one’s needs are being met at home.  It’s important to ask the right questions and to ensure your loved ones needs and wants are going to be addressed long term when deciding to move them into Aged Care.


How do you know it’s the right time?

If a person’s dementia has progressed enough that they need more care and support than you can provide, it may be time for them to go into a care home, as they may need 24-hour care.  Their needs will likely increase, and despite your best efforts, you will possibly not be able to meet these.

Their safety at home may become an issue for instance navigating stairs or steep driveways, and there may be tripping hazards in the house that could trigger stumbles or falls.

Their behaviour may be becoming irrational or unmanageable with dramatic mood swings.  Your loved one may also be becoming increasingly forgetful and having memory lapses.


What are the benefits of moving into an Aged Care home?

  • Professional care and support 24 hours a day.
  • Supervision that will in turn ensure the safety of your loved one.
  • Living with others enhances the ability for your loved one to participate in social activity.
  • Many homes specialise in dementia care and have specific support units.


Who should make the decision?

In an ideal world the person with dementia should make the decision, but this is not often the case as they may not have the mental capacity to make this decision anymore, and so it is left to family members.


What should you look for in Dementia Care?

When looking at homes take this list of questions with you:

  1. Do the staff listen to you and ask you questions and information pertinent to your loved one?
  2. What are the services available and the range of activities provided?
  3. How often does the Dr visit? Are practioners such as physiotherapists able to visit?
  4. When are loved ones allowed to visit?
  5. What is the medication policy?
  6. Are there additional services provided such as hairdressing on site?
  7. Are the buildings, grounds and individual rooms suitable for dementia specific residents?
  8. Are the individual’s rights addressed, such as their religious beliefs, belongings and preferences?
  9. Is there language specific assistance provided?
  10. Have the fees been fully explained and are there any extra costs involved?

Often a decision must be made quickly on moving into an Aged Care Facility, there is little time to adjust and settle, so knowing what you should be looking for in the first place can make the task at hand less daunting.

It’s never going to be easy placing your loved one in an Aged Care home, but you also need to think what is best for you and your family and what will enable you to make your time together positive and productive.

Homestyle Aged Care have specific memory support units in their homes.  If you would like to find out more information or book a tour, call our dedicated Admission team on 1300 104 663.


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