In Jenny’s words…
My father had Alzheimer’s, so we had to choose a home that would take someone with dementia. I have a brother and sister in different parts of the country, and our priority was to find the best home that was near one of us.
The thing that impressed me most with the one we chose was that all the residents were people with dementia. I think this is really, really important because a lot of homes are registered for maybe three or four residents with dementia, and the problem is that those people have different care needs and need to be treated differently.
In those homes, they tend to wander around and might end up in the wrong bed and are generally treated as a nuisance.
Finding the right care options
The manager of the home we chose for my dad made it clear that the home was there for the benefit of the residents – that really stuck in my mind.
She always did an assessment of the patient in their own home. This gave her a much better picture of what sort of person we were talking about. So she came to see Dad, and saw all the books in his house, and got a better idea of what he was like.
Care homes for dementia
In a home that specialises in dementia, the staff build up an expertise in dealing with how their residents behave. They go on courses and have specific training. They aim to take the resident off medication, whereas some homes dose them up to keep them calm. A good home for dementia patients allows them to do what they like, provided it’s not going to cause any harm. Dementia patients walk about a lot, so the home keeps meals warm if they’re outside until they’re ready to come in.
In a home that specialises in dementia, the staff build up an expertise in dealing with how their residents behave.
They let them go out unless it’s pouring down with rain. The home that my father was in has big, safe grounds for the patients to walk in. They let them walk about, even if there is a risk they might fall over – they respect them to make their own choices. The staff just make sure they’ve got a coat on. They work with them rather than against them.”