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Preparing for Dementia Care

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Create a Health Care Plan

After being diagnosed with dementia you’ll have many questions about the future, and it’s sometimes difficult to know where to turn for advice and answers. Creating a health care plan is a vital early stage when you are living with a life-limiting condition as it will contain all the elements that you need to have the most effective care. Most people want to make decisions about their future so that if you no longer have mental capacity, you will still be cared for the way you wanted. According to the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), your care plan should be created by your healthcare professional, whether that’s your private care provider such as Helping Hands, or your wider healthcare team, so that all your wishes get noted. “Producing a shared written record of how the person will be cared for tells them (and others whom they wish to involve) what to expect.”

Our team of local care managers will work closely with you to devise your care plan and ensure you are supported exactly as you wish, and because our visiting and live-in care services are fully regulated by the Care Quality Commission and Care Inspectorate Wales, you can be assured by the exceptional care quality we’ll deliver.

Consider Long Term Care Options

While you have many options open to you for long-term dementia care, the most effective solution is often for people to remain in their own homes for care and support. This is because remaining in familiar and comforting surroundings ensures your anxiety is kept to a minimum and confusion is reduced. Many people don’t realise that they can remain at home and be fully cared for, but Helping Hands have been specialising in exceptional dementia home care since we were established in 1989. While you may not want to think too far into the future after diagnosis as you are unsure of what you may face, it’s important to have conversations with your loved ones regarding potential care and what your preferences are. There’s no need to presume you’ll have to go into a care home as your dementia progresses, as with our comprehensive dementia support you can be cared for at home on either a visiting or live-in care basis. We also have our own clinical nursing team at Helping Hands who will produce and manage clinical care packages for our customers with more complex needs, so regardless of what stage your dementia is at, you will be fully supported by us.

Plan for End-of-Life Care

Dementia is a progressive condition which means you won’t get better, however that doesn’t mean you can’t live well with dementia for a long time. It is also an individualised condition, which means that everyone’s experience is different, even if they are living with the same type of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s. Everyone has the right to dignity in death, and even though its natural not to want to think about it too much, when you’re living with a life-limiting condition it’s important to consider how you want the end to progress. Would you like to remain in your own home? Perhaps you’d prefer to move into a hospice or other medical premises? It’s so important to let loved ones know that you have specific wishes so that they can be reassured your care progressed as you wished, right until the end. It would be terrible if they found written instructions that you’d left in the house about your care at end-of-life, but they weren’t discovered until after you’d passed. That could only cause unnecessary suffering for your loved ones, when they’re already trying to cope with their overwhelming grief.

Tips for Preparing for Dementia Care

You may require additional care and support even before dementia has been definitively diagnosed, perhaps because you are struggling with your memory, confusion, or orientating your movements. The most important thing to remember is that you can have additional support at home whenever you want it – it’s not just for after a serious diagnosis. We deliver care to thousands of people throughout England and Wales, some of whom are living with a serious condition, while others have age-related frailties or require some low-level help. Our carers visit people in their own homes and deliver care from an hour or two a week, as well as supporting our live-in carers to provide support around the clock. We tailor your package of care to your specific needs and your carers will do all they can to help you live your best life possible at home, ensuring you remain you, and don’t become defined by your dementia. Our carers don’t just do everything they can to support you though, they also offer vital emotional comfort to your loved ones who will also be struggling with your diagnosis; we include them in your care as much as you want them to be, but always act in your best wishes at all times.

Dementia care can proceed as intensively as you wish, from a short amount per week to give your family a break, right up to having someone living in your home with you. Whatever you choose, you’ll discover that we only employ compassionate and caring people who have your best interests at heart and want to do all they can to help you live as well as possible with your dementia. Whether you prefer hobbies that can be done at home, or you like to make the most of your local community, we’ll help you to enjoy your days and remain safe at night. If you need us to be there all the time then we’ll do that, delivering support via the same small team of carers so that you get used to them being in your home. Your carers can do everything from personal care to medication support, housework to meal preparation, so however you need us we’ll never let you down. And to reassure you and your loved ones that only people who should be are accessing your home, we insist on unblemished references that we check thoroughly, as well as a full screening through the DBS that proves your carer’s suitability.

The best way to discover if you are ready for care is to have a chat with our knowledgeable customer care team, whether that’s online, over the phone, or in the comfort of your own home. Your loved ones can be present too if you wish, to help you with any questions you want to ask or so you later recall what was discussed. We also have 150 branches across England and Wales if you’d prefer to visit your closest one and chat with them there.