Dementia care plays an important role in helping people with dementia live safe and comfortable lives in their own homes. As rates of dementia increase in the UK, dementia home care has never been as needed as it is today. This guide explains everything you need to know about dementia care.
What is dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term for several progressive diseases that affect memory, thinking, problem-solving and the ability to perform daily activities. Dementia affects mostly older adults and it is reported that 850,000 people are currently living with the condition in the UK alone. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, contributing to 60-70% of dementia cases.
The most common types of dementia are:
Is a progressive disease that directly affects the brain and causes dementia. People with Alzheimer’s disease have plaques and tangles in their brains that damage healthy brain cells and the fibres connecting them. Common symptoms include confusion, disorientation, personality changes, memory loss, speech difficulty and anxiety.
Is caused by damage to the vessels that supply blood to the brain. Blood vessel problems can cause stroke or affect the brain in other ways, such as by damaging the fibres in the brain. Symptoms include challenges with problem-solving, slowed thinking, and loss of focus and organisation.
Lewy body dementia
Lewy bodies are balloon-like clumps of protein found in the brains of people with Lewy body dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms include problems with focus and attention, uncoordinated or slow movement, tremors, and stiffness.
This is a group of diseases characterised by the breakdown of nerve cells and their connections in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. The condition affects behaviour, personality, thinking, judgment, language and movement.
Dementia care at home
Although dementia is a progressive condition there is no reason why a person with dementia cannot remain living in the comfort of their own home given the right care and support.
Traditionally, it was common for people with advanced-stage dementia to be cared for in residential care homes. However, these environments can be challenging for people with dementia as changes to routine and environment can cause intense distress, disorientation and confusion.
Dementia care at home is a welcome alternative to residential care. Not only is it comparable in cost to residential care but it offers some very significant advantages for the person with dementia and their family.
Benefits of dementia care at home include:
Personalised one-to-one care
One of the biggest benefits of receiving dementia care at home is that the care is completely bespoke and tailored to the needs of the individual. A home carer can focus all their care and attention on the individual, unlike residential care where a carer’s time is split between many residents and care is generalised.
Remain in the comfort of home
Being able to stay living in the place one knows best is incredibly beneficial for people with dementia as any changes to their environment can cause intense distress and confusion. Other benefits of living at home include being surrounded by loved ones, memories and pets, which is helpful to minimise symptoms. Friends and family can visit at any time and remain strong features in the daily routine, making it easier for the family to stay involved and connected.
Receiving personalised one-to-one dementia care at home is comparable in cost to receiving care in a residential care home. This makes it a real option for many families struggling with dementia but with the added benefits of comfort, convenience and focused one-on-one care.
Support for all the family
Caring for a loved one with dementia is challenging. Dementia care at home gives support to not only the person with the condition but their family too. Dementia care includes not only practical care of the person but also support around the home with daily chores, emotional support to the family and advice on ways to care and support as the condition progresses.
Safety and security
Advanced-stage dementia can cause safety and security concerns as wandering and confusion intensify. Nighttime care is often needed at this stage to ensure the person can be comforted during nighttime distress and any wandering or other dangerous behaviours can be managed.
Help around the home
Dementia care encompasses a wide range of support and help in the home. A dementia carer can help with cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, ordering and collecting medications and many other tasks to help make daily life more manageable, for the person with dementia and their family.
Trained and experienced carers
Dementia carers are trained and experienced in caring for people with dementia. They know how to soothe the person when they become agitated and aggressive, have ways to make the environment more comfortable and can give advice to the family about what to expect at different stages of the disease.
Types of dementia care
At Country Cousins, we know that because dementia is a progressive disease, care needs change over time. That’s why we offer flexible and adaptable services so you get exactly the care you need at the right time.
Dementia care with Country Cousins is flexible and can be delivered in many forms. From temporary respite care to cover for an existing carer that needs a break, to live-in care for early and mid-stage dementia, and 24-hour care for late-stage dementia needs.
Here are some examples of how dementia care can be tailored to different stages of the illness:
Early-stage dementia – care focuses on encouraging social activity, exercise and cognitive engagement to delay the progression as much as possible. A live-in carer can provide full-time support from the moment the person wakes up until they go to bed assisting with personal care, household tasks, accompaniment to outings and appointments, and personal care.
In mid-stage dementia – symptoms start to become more pronounced and a greater level of daily care is needed. This is when daily routine and consistency are key. Preventing wandering becomes important for safety. Carers can provide ways to minimise distress and confusion while offering companionship and promoting interests and activities that engage and soothe.
Introducing a professional carer at this stage is critical for the person with dementia to be able to form a bond and accept the care given to them before the more advanced stages set in.
Late-stage dementia – is characterised by a steep deterioration in the person’s condition and they will require 24-hour care that covers daytime and nighttime support. It is common to have one carer work during the daytime and one carer work at nighttime. Carers will assist with things like continence, eating and drinking, monitoring weight, nighttime supervision and preparing tailored meals that the person can consume.
What does dementia care include?
Dementia care can help with:
- Personal care including washing, dressing, shaving, and toilet needs
- Recreational support with mental-well-being such as encouraging hobbies and outings
- Mobility support and steadying (e.g. with a walking frame or walking stick)
- Specialist live-in care from a dementia-trained carer
- Help taking medications or ordering prescriptions
- Light housework, laundry, shopping, and preparing nutritious meals
- Domestic administration such as daily errands, arranging appointments, or organising payments for regular services
- Pet feeding and care, such as taking your dog for a short daily walk
- Compassionate and friendly companionship for all the family
How to arrange dementia care with Country Cousins
If you think you or a loved one could benefit from dementia care get in touch today. We know that arranging care can be confusing and time-consuming. That’s why we make the process as simple as possible, thanks to our friendly care team, who are available Monday to Friday from 8 am – 6 pm on 01293 224706 to help you.
Our expert care team will be happy to advise you on what services best suit you and our transparent and easy-to-understand pricing means there are no surprises.
Once we understand your needs and preferences we take great care to match a carer that fits with your specific health needs, personality, lifestyle and way of living. We know that finding the right carer is critical to the success of any live-in care arrangement. We know how much families appreciate this focus as many of our clients tell us their carer becomes a trusted friend, like one of the family.
Dementia care with Country Cousins
At Country Cousins, we have been providing dementia care to families in the comfort of their own homes for over 60 years. We are the longest-serving home care agency in England and support over 500 clients every day across the U.K.
“I would definitely recommend this amazing team to friends and family. The management team has been very efficient, supportive and sensitive. We have had 2 wonderful caregivers staying with my Mum. They were very caring, gentle, and lovely companions. Mum regularly said they were “splendid”. Mum’s needs were constantly changing and they were very flexible. They kept a daily diary and sent me regular messages with updates. All were very supportive to me and my brother.” – Janet Tynan
Get in touch with us today and find out how we can help. We offer a free enquiry service with no obligation. Our friendly team is available on 01293 224706 Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. Alternatively, complete our online enquiry form and one of the team will get in touch.