6 Things To Consider When Looking For A Home For Dementia Care

6 Things To Consider When Looking For A Home For Dementia Care

Admitting a loved one to a nursing home is a difficult decision and is usually only arrived at once the person’s care needs cannot be met by the family and community-based services. Dementia has profound consequences for the quality of life for those with the condition, their family and friends.

So what should families consider when seeking care for someone with dementia? In addition to bed availability, cost and location, it is worth asking these key questions.

1. Is there a dementia-specific unit?

Many aged care facilities have specialised dementia units, which are home to people with severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Dementia units or wards have specialist doctors, registered nurses, care assistants and allied health staff who have expertise in caring for residents with dementia.

2. Is the dementia unit appropriately designed to meet the needs of people living with dementia?

Dementia units are purpose-built so residents can retain their abilities with minimal frustration. They may, for instance, have a familiar home-style layout that accommodates only a small number of residents.


 Get The Latest From InnerSelf


Well-designed outdoor spaces are a great asset to a dementia unit. These should be easily accessible, interesting, safe and secure. Ideally they should include fixed seating and allow residents to easily return indoors.

3. Will your family member be regularly seen by a GP? Will they have access to nurse practitioners, clinical nurse consultants and doctors specialising in dementia aged-palliative care?

Optimal dementia care is focused on reducing symptoms, maximising the patient’s comfort and dignity, and preventing suffering.

Aged care facilities should employ or contract doctors, registered nurses and care assistants who are highly experienced and skilled. They are best able to manage these complex and challenging symptoms and behaviours.

4. Are experienced registered nurse(s) on duty and on site 24 hours, seven days a week? How much time will these registered nurses spend with your family member each day? How many residents is a registered nurse responsible for per shift?

The complexity of older people’s care needs demands that registered nurses are on duty at all times. To improve care and better manage the needs of older people living with dementia, we need highly skilled registered nurses and care assistants to work collaboratively with the older person, their family and their GP.

A major limitation to achieving this goal is that the care assistant workforce is under-prepared to be performing the tasks they currently undertake and too few registered nurses are employed to support and supervise them. Care assistants working in residential aged care require formal, ongoing high-quality vocational education focused on the patient and their aged-palliative care needs.

Many dementia residents have complex and challenging behaviours. Dementia is a terminal illness caused by brain disease or injury. It affects the way people think, behave and perform everyday tasks.

At times, this means some people with dementia may refuse care or food, and become aggressive, restive or disorientated. They may not be safe to be left alone and need help to dress, bath and feed themselves.

In more severe cases, they can have depression or angry violent episodes. This is made more difficult as nearly 44% of residents with dementia also have a diagnosis of a mental illness.

5. Does the nursing home have a formal communication strategy? How will the nursing home communicate any changes in the older person’s condition?

The needs of every person living with advanced dementia are unique. Therefore, communication about what your loved one likes and dislikes is essential in planning the strategies staff use to care for them.

When the person and their needs are at the centre of the care decisions, they can get the best care they need to feel calm and respected.

6. Does the nursing home have a diversional therapist and physiotherapist?

Nursing homes can employ staff such as diversional therapists or recreational staff to give dementia residents focused events throughout the day.

These staff play an important role in the management of dementia by providing activities and time for patients to do things they enjoy with other residents or family members.

An example of an activity is participation in music therapy, singing, movement or dancing if able. Research is starting to show the emotional and social benefits of regular musical activities on quality of life.

Various inquiries and reports have called for greater investment in aged care and reforms to better care for older Australians, but too few of these recommendations have been acted on. Greater investment can ensure each individual is given the care, dignity and respect they deserve in the last years, months or days of their life.

About The Authors

Louise Hickman, Associate Professor of Nursing, University of Technology Sydney

Jane Phillips, Professor of Nursing, University of Technology Sydney

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Related Books

{amazonWS:searchindex=Books;keywords=dementia care;maxresults=3}

You May Also Like

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfifrdehiiditjakomsnofaptruessvtrvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook-icontwitter-iconrss-icon

 Get The Latest By Email

First name:E-mail:
 

{emailcloak=off}

DAILY INSPIRATION

Daily Inspiration: March 7, 2021
Daily Inspiration: March 7, 2021
Our culture has relegated aging to the closet. It is not something to be discussed, or even done,…
citizen of the world dress
Daily Inspiration: March 6, 2021
It is said that when someone asked Socrates what country he was from, his response was "of the…
Daily Inspiration: March 5, 2021
Daily Inspiration: March 5, 2021
There's no need to run away, or run to others for answers. Close your eyes and talk to your Self...

INNERSELF VOICES

We Create Our Own Reality By How We See and Interpret Things
We Create Our Own Reality By How We See and Interpret Things
by Pierre Pradervand
How I see my life path is a choice I make minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day… And this…
How to Walk for Health, Fitness, and Peace of Mind
How to Walk for Health, Fitness, and Peace of Mind
by James Endredy
For most people, walking is an activity that requires no thought or intention -- it is rarely even…
Young girl sitting surrounded by lots of book of various colors
How to Recognize Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
by Thom Hartmann
ADHD is not an all-or-nothing diagnosis. There appears to be a curve of behaviors and personality…
How To Recognize Your Core Negative Beliefs and Inner Critic
How To Recognize Your Core Negative Beliefs and Inner Critic
by Bridgit Dengel Gaspard
You may not think you have a core negative belief, but if you’re mysteriously stuck, one or two…
Scrabble letters that spell out: NO HATE
Vaccination or No Vaccination? That Is Not the Question Here...
by Joyce Vissell
This is not an article about the benefits of getting a vaccination. Nor is it an article about not…
heart shape filled with various colors
Quiz: What’s Your Risk of Heart Disease? and What To Do About It
by Maryon Stewart
If you answered yes to more than three questions, I would highly recommend that you follow the…
two balls balanced on top of each other under an arch
Attaining Balance Between Left and Right-Brain by Nourishing the Solar Plexus Chakra
by Glen Park
Aspiration and achievement, power and success, and fame and fortune are presented as highly…
Photo of aurora and moon by Markus Varik on February 22, 2021, Tromsø Norway
Horoscope Current Week: March 1 - 7, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…

MOST READ

silhouette of a woman's head and it is disintegrating
Letting Go of All Perceived Pain, Ignorance, and Fear
by Alexis I. Jordan
Thank you, infinite goodness, for your bounteous gifts, including peace, love, freedom and joy,…
picture of colorful fireworks in the sky
Cancer Meditation and Cancer Medication: A Powerful Combination
by Joyce Whiteley Hawkes
Each cell has its own biological clock that controls its individual rate of repair, replication,…
Emotions and Your Moon Sign
How To Deal with Your Emotions According To Your Moon Sign
by Donna Cunningham
The Moon, in the astrological chart, can help us understand how we deal with our emotions. It shows…
heart shape filled with various colors
Quiz: What’s Your Risk of Heart Disease? and What To Do About It
by Maryon Stewart
If you answered yes to more than three questions, I would highly recommend that you follow the…
Why Creating Art With Your Children Is Important
Why Creating Art With Your Children Is Important
by Vicky Armstrong
Many of us may be looking to art activities to keep children busy while at home. If you are, I want…
two balls balanced on top of each other under an arch
Attaining Balance Between Left and Right-Brain by Nourishing the Solar Plexus Chakra
by Glen Park
Aspiration and achievement, power and success, and fame and fortune are presented as highly…
The Condor, The Eagle, and the Return of Divine Feminine Wisdom (Video)
The Condor, The Eagle, and the Return of Divine Feminine Wisdom (Video)
by Vera Lopez and Linda Star Wolf Ph.D.
I truly believe there are no accidents in life. There is only the magic and mystery of Spirit, and…
First Aid Buttons: Regulate The Body's Energy Flow and Improve Your Health
First Aid Buttons: Regulate The Body's Energy Flow and Improve Your Health
by Barry Sultanoff, MD.
We came into this world with special "buttons" pre-installed. These "buttons" are specific spots on…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.