When should someone with dementia go into a care home?

when should a person with dementia go into care

Dementia is a progressive condition and the needs and care requirements of people with dementia usually change over time.

When the symptoms of dementia first start, they are often very mild and don’t impact the person’s independence too much.

However, as the condition progresses, the care that the person requires may become more intensive and challenging.

During the early days, many people can stay living in their own home being cared for by family or friends. As the condition progresses, caring for a person with dementia at home will become more challenging both physically and emotionally.

Carers looking after people with dementia will inevitably have to make a difficult decision at some point about whether they can continue providing care for their loved ones at home or if it’s time for them to move to a care home.

If you’re wondering, when should someone with dementia go into a care home? This article will help you to recognise the signs that it may be time for a loved one to start receiving more intensive, professional care.

How to know when it is time for someone with dementia to go into a care home

Whilst moving someone with dementia to a care home can be a very difficult and emotional decision to make, there are some benefits to doing so.

Once dementia has progressed to a point where symptoms are quite severe, it can be very difficult to provide them with enough support at home. At this point, caring for the person at home can be exhausting for the carer, sometimes causing them to become burnt out or experience mental health problems. It can also become an unsafe environment for the person with dementia if they are at the point where they require 24-hour support, which it is not always physically possible to provide at home.

A care home provides those with dementia with a safe environment to live in and 24-hour care and support from experienced care staff. It also provides them with the opportunity to easily socialise with other people with the same condition.

Deciding when it is time to move a loved one with dementia into a care home is a very personal and difficult decision. The right time will be different from one person to the next, depending on a variety of different factors, these include:

  • The type of dementia the person has.
  • The symptoms they are experiencing.
  • The severity of their symptoms.
  • The suitability of the environment they live in.
  • Their carer’s health.
  • Any other responsibilities their carer has.

Some common problems that carers experience that may prompt them to move a person with dementia into a care home include:

  • Carer suffers illness or injury.
  • A person with dementia is hospitalised.
  • Caring for the person at home is causing very broken sleep.
  • Fears over safety for either the person with dementia or the carer.
  • Problems with incontinence and personal hygiene.
  • Personality changes make the person with dementia aggressive.

Many different issues can arise when caring for a person with dementia, if the carer is experiencing any problems that are making it difficult for them to meet the needs of the person with dementia at home, then it could be the right time to move them to a care home.

Who should make the decision?

Deciding that it is time to move a loved one with dementia to a care home can be very difficult.

Sometimes, the person with dementia may be able to decide for themselves whether they wish to move to a care home. Usually though, by the time a care home is being considered, dementia will have progressed to a point where they have lost the mental capacity to make important life decisions for themselves.

If the person with dementia is not able to make the decision themselves then it is the responsibility of their Lasting Power of Attorney or Personal Welfare Deputy if they have one.

If the person does not have a Lasting Power of Attorney or Personal Welfare Deputy, then the decision should be made by health and social care professionals and the person with dementia’s family.

Even if the person with dementia lacks the mental capacity to make the final decision themselves, they should be consulted and involved in the discussions where possible.

The best interests of the person with dementia should always be at the heart of any decision made when it comes to moving them to a care home.

Any decisions made can be challenged by the person’s close friends or family if they disagree.

Whilst the person with dementia still has the mental capacity, it can be a good idea to organise an Advance Care Plan (ACP) and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This allows the person with dementia to legally set out their wishes for future care. Consulting the person on their wishes whilst they still have the mental capacity can help to make all decisions surrounding their personal and medical care, including moving them to a care home, much simpler later down the line. It also provides their family, friends, and carers with peace of mind that they are making decisions that the person would be happy with.

Understanding dementia better

If you care for someone with dementia, educating yourself and making sure you understand the condition can help you to provide them with a high level of care at home for as long as you can. Find out more by reading our article titled how can I understand dementia better.

Here at Care Business Associate Training, we also run a 3-hour Dementia Awareness training course which teaches those caring for people with dementia more about the condition, its symptoms, and how a person with dementia experiences the world. The course also teaches useful strategies for communicating and caring for a person with dementia to help improve their comfort and wellbeing during the time that they are being cared for at home.

If you’d like to find out more about our dementia awareness training first, give our team a call on 01772 816 922 or email admin@cba-training.co.uk.