When you have a loved one with dementia, a time will come when arranging dedicated, specialist care is simply common sense and the right thing to do. Beyond an unreliable care-at-home package, or the frustrations of a general nursing home, a dedicated dementia care setting can be a highly positive step to take. Here's why:
Professional dementia specialists who understand 'what it's all about' are on hand 24/7. Forget apologies or embarrassment, well-trained staff in a dedicated home are totally familiar with the behaviour, agitation and stress that dementia brings. They are used to responding with dignity, respect and warmth. Likewise, the families
of fellow residents are typically sharing a similar experience and journey, so there is a common understanding.
"Of course a dementia diagnosis is shattering for all concerned, but I have seen a family's stress evaporate on arrival at a dedicated setting," says Kay Gibson, Colten Care's first Admiral Nurse, a specialist appointed in partnership with Dementia UK.
"They will tend to have experienced embarrassment about their relative's state of mind before and during domiciliary care or a stay in a residential home. When they come into a dedicated dementia home that is built on dignity, empathy, respect and professionalism, they feel relief straight away that they have found the right place, where everyone is going through a similar experience. Everyone truly is in it together."
All about the individual
Some care homes claim to offer dedicated dementia care, but in reality have a mixture of residents with a range of age-related conditions.
"Having residents there for different reasons, some with dementia, some without, does not create a harmonious situation," says Kay, part of whose role is to ease the transition to a dedicated setting.
"The best scenario is a home conceived just for people with dementia where care, companionship and the overall environment is built around the individual needs of each resident from the very first design idea." Companionship and encouragement
One of the many advantages of a dedicated dementia home is that people with dementia don't have to 'compete for space' with others requiring non-specialist residential or nursing care, nor do they have to conform to a set daily routine. They can live life at their own pace, getting up, dining, welcoming visitors and going to bed when it suits them. Choice allows for living well on so many levels. Professional, dedicated nurses
On the clinical side, we make a positive, transformative difference to our residents' lives by investing heavily in the career development of our nurses and continually adopting proven innovations in dementia care, with all aspects underpinned by bespoke quality audit tools purely focused on deme
ntia. Our dedicated dementia homes are therefore able to meet our residents' full clinical needs alongside their dementia needs.
"At Colten Care, we have a shared vision along with the Alzheimer's Society and Dementia UK that you can indeed live well with dementia," says Kay. "Our promise is to support you to overcome the challenges associated with dementia. Relationship-centred approaches and the sharing of best practice among staff have led to a one-third drop in the use of anti-psychotic medication in our homes. We will continue to enhance our understanding of dementia and put the latest ideas into action for the benefit of our residents."