Guide to selecting the right dementia care home
This guide to selecting the right care home is dedicated to all the Residents we have had the privilege to know and care for over 33 years. They have been our best teachers – our North Star.
The guide is based on our experience and knowledge of Dementia, and collaboration with world-wide research and the opinion of the Devonshire. We hope you will find this detailed guide 'Selecting the Right Dementia Care Home' useful. Please send your questions, feedback and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Selecting a home for you or your loved one is a very difficult decision and, to complicate matters, many people are not sure how to evaluate whether a home will meet their specific needs. To assist you with your decision, we have prepared this brief guide for you to use while visiting various homes.
To help you decide on the right home for you or your loved one, we have developed the following 70 questions for you to consider. When visiting care homes please use the questionnaire grid to compare homes, make notes and ultimately make your decision.
If you need help deciding, we would be happy to discuss your options with you. It is of the utmost importance that you pick the home that is right for you or your loved one – even if that home is not ours. Any move is stressful and traumatic, so we really think it should only happen once!
WHAT SHOULD I KEEP IN MIND REGARDING COVID-19?
The current pandemic has made the search for a care home even more complex and visiting can be challenging. As dementia progresses it is preferable not to move too many times so our advice to you is to ask as many questions as you can so that you feel comfortable with your choice. (See questions 66–70 in the GUIDE pertaining to Covid-19).
WHAT TYPE OF HOME SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
There are two schools of thought as to whether to place a person living with dementia in a specialist home where all the Residents have dementia or in a home providing care for older people, some living with dementia and some not.
It has been our experience that Residents who live with dementia feel less frustrated, less agitated and more content living in a specialised dementia home designed with prompts and a dementia-friendly environment.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE A SPECIALIST CARE HOME?
Dementia is a progressive disease and at each stage there are changes in care needs and behaviours which many homes are not able to handle. (See questions 48–65 in the GUIDE).
HOW FAR SHOULD I TRAVEL?
It's only natural to want your loved one living with dementia to be in a home in close proximity to you so that you can pop round and visit frequently. As we mentioned before, dementia is a progressive disease, so we consider that it is of the utmost importance that you first find a home that can handle the different stages and has a stellar reputation.
Every person is unique, so only consider a home which has many years of experience handling the multitude of different manifestations of dementia. We think it is imperative to find a home that can meet the everyday needs of the person living with dementia even though you may have to travel further to visit. It will be reassuring to know that your loved one is in the right setting and receiving the right care to make them content and joyful every day.
During this unprecedented pandemic it has become clear to our families that having their loved one happy and settled in a home that understands them is so very important. We suggest you try as much as is possible to make only one move and pick a home that provides the care you require.