Learn all about dementia care this World Alzheimer’s Month

September marks World Alzheimer’s Month, and on the 21st, we celebrate World Alzheimer’s Day. During this month, professionals in the fields of mental health and elderly care unite to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

This year, at Crouched Friars, we’re taking the time to discuss the sometimes difficult topic of selecting the most suitable Alzheimer’s care for close family or friends.

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is “a degenerative brain disease that is caused by complex brain changes following cell damage. It leads to dementia symptoms that gradually worsen over time.” The organisation also states that Alzheimer’s Disease accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases.

When to Consider Residential or At-Home Care

Navigating the complexities of caring for a loved one who can no longer maintain an independent lifestyle can be a daunting task. Individual needs and preferences must be taken into account when making sure a big decision, but here are some key indicators that may suggest it’s time to explore care options:

  • Declining physical health and mobility: Mobility, something often taken for granted, can deteriorate rapidly, posing risks to both the individual and those around them
  • Social interaction needs: If your loved one is struggling to maintain the level of social interaction they require, it may be worthwhile to consider a care facility where they can engage with other residents
  • Limited support network: While some individuals benefit from a broad network of family and friends, others may lack this support and might need more help
  • Financial considerations: Care inevitably comes with costs, whether in terms of time and energy from loved ones or the financial cost of moving into a specialist  care home

Residential vs. Home Care: Weighing up the Options

As with any big decision, creating a list of pros and cons can provide some clarity. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of residential and home care, which can be used as a basis if you’re considering care options.

Residential Care

Pros:

  • Specialised care tailored to Alzheimer’s patients
  • Round-the-clock supervision for enhanced safety
  • Lots of activities and social opportunities
  • Less stress for family caregivers

Cons:

  • Potentially high costs
  • Finding a suitable facility can be challenging and time-consuming
  • Distance from family and friends may limit visits
  • Staff turnover can impede the forming of meaningful relationships


Home Care

Pros:

  • Allows the individual to remain in their familiar home environment
  • Facilitates the maintenance of existing routines
  • May be more cost-effective than residential care

Cons:

  • Can be demanding on family caregivers
  • May not have access to 24/7 support
  • Finding qualified caregivers can be a challenge

It’s essential to recognise that there are no right or wrong answers when choosing between residential and home care. The decision hinges on your loved one’s unique requirements and preferences.

Consider the pros and cons carefully, engage in open discussions with your loved one to understand their desires, and consider seeking input from family members, friends, and healthcare professionals to make an informed decision.

Selecting the appropriate type of care for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s is undoubtedly a tough decision. There’s no universal solution, and it may take time to arrive at a choice that feels right.

If you think that residential care might be the best choice for a loved one, and would like to speak to someone from the team here at Crouched Friars, please feel free to contact us by calling 01206 572647 or via our contact form.

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