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At What Point Do Dementia Patients Need 24-Hour Care?

Elderly with dementia in the United Kingdom

Dementia is a progressive condition that worsens over time. Some people deteriorate faster than others but the symptoms tend to be quite similar among this group of people. If you are a carer for a dementia patient, you will see a development and worsening of the condition and this requires more care and attention to ensure that your loved one is safe and well taken care of. With this comes the question of when is the right time to seek 24-hour care for the patient. There are several symptoms you need to look out for both individually and in combination with each other. We take a look at some of these below.

When to seek 24-hour in-home dementia care

The following signs and symptoms should serve as a clear signal to you that your loved one needs 24-hour care at home.

Aggression: Dementia patients may become aggressive as their illness progresses. Aggression can be difficult to deal with if you’re on your own and it can also manifest itself in multiple ways – from physical to verbal signs of expressing anger. This needs to be managed adequately by a trained professional and is one of the reasons why a carer is able to handle the care needs for dementia patients better.

Caregiver strain: Looking after a person with dementia can be exhausting, straining, and can result in anxiety, depression, stress, frustration and more. These are all signs of burnout and can be quite unhealthy for the caregiver in the sense that they reduce their quality of life and lead to isolation and worry as well. To relieve the caregiver and reduce negative symptoms, hiring the services of a 24-hour carer can help lighten the load.

Unhealthy living conditions: Dementia patients often start neglecting themselves not because they don’t want to but because of an inability to do so. This can result in unhealthy living conditions. Examples include dirty dishes that have piled up, clothes on the floor which they can trip over, broken pieces of crockery that hasn’t been cleaned up and which they can hurt themselves on, positioning of dangerous objects around the house and more. To eliminate and reduce these hazards, a 24-hour carer can help monitor and manage the situation on a full time basis as opposed to placing strain on the caregiver.

Social isolation: In addition to the above, due to their condition, dementia patients often start to isolate themselves from people they were once close to – whether friends or relatives. This can affect their emotional well being and quality of life because they aren’t able to socialise like they once used to. As a result, this leads to social isolation and can lead to withdrawal. Memory loss is one of the reasons for this. To help them acclimatise and manage the isolation, a 24-hour carer can help them get from place to place, help them interact, manage emotions and more.

Home safety: It also happens that things we take for granted in our homes can become dangerous for a person with dementia. Trips and falls are just some examples of harm that they can cause themselves. This is why home safety is a critical aspect for helping to reduce risks around the home and preventing the patient from hurting themselves.

Forgetfulness and memory loss: Memory loss and forgetfulness will vary from person to person with those in the advanced stages of dementia suffering more than those who are in the early stages. Dealing with memory loss and forgetfulness can be straining and can lead the patient to experience panic and frustration. These emotions must be managed by a properly trained carer and is another reason why 24-hour elderly home care is a must.

Mobility challenges: As one ages, it’s also important to realise that mobility challenges will start arising and that these need to be dealt with as well. Whether it’s an issue such as helping the patient move from room to room to actually helping them get out of bed, a 24-hour carer will always be the much-needed watchful eye that will ensure that they do not cause harm to themselves and that their needs are taken care of.

Sundowning: Sundowning is the situation where a person with dementia starts experiencing a wide range of symptoms during the night or during the late afternoon before sunset when it gets dark outside. Sundowning can include a range of issues including aggression, frustration, panic, stress, depression and more. As a result, to manage the situation better, a 24-hour carer will help relieve these symptoms and ensure your loved one’s safety.

Escalating health care needs: Contacting an elderly care agency in the UK for 24-hour dementia care can also help with escalating health care needs. These may be physical, emotional or psychological and a trained expert will be able to provide a holistic care plan to ensure that the patient is well taken care of.

Benefits of 24-hour care

Wondering how long can a person with dementia live at home? The answer is that although it’s around 10 years, the situation will vary from person to person. In order to make the most of the situation and the time you still have with your loved one, you might consider 24-hour care for them. The reasons for this are endless. They include safety and socialisation, personal care and meal preparation, companionship, medication administration, stress and anxiety relief, supervision, greater control over activities of daily life and a predetermined schedule for more consistency.

Why call a dementia care specialist?

24-hour dementia care at home is possibly one of the safest and most convenient options to give your loved one. Not only does it reduce the strain on the primary caregiver but also the trained carers are able to provide a steady routine for more consistency and to reduce panic, they will ensure medicine gets administered properly and they are also trained in working with such patients so that you can rest assured that your loved one is in good hands.

Walfinch care services in your area:

Look out for new branches of Walfinch opening soon, offering quality home care near you.