Looking After A Family Member With Dementia

Dementia is an awful illness. It steadily impacts the brain and impedes a person diagnosed with it’s ability to think quickly, make judgements, understand situations, remember, and, with time communicate effectively. Rather than immediately coming into effect, this syndrome will progressively get worse.

And, sadly, there’s no cure.

Seeing a loved one slowly develop these symptoms is a harrowing experience for any family unit. During the early stages, it may be hard for people to notice that a loved one is suffering from dementia. However, as the condition worsens, care will probably be required.

And for that reason drawing up a care plan for dementia is absolutely the right thing to do. It’s a tough task and, understandably, many are likely to approach it with fear and trepidation. But it’s important to acknowledge the benefits such a plan can provide.

By sitting down as a family unit and discussing a plan with the relative affected by dementia, it’s possible to provide them with what they want – a care plan they feel meets their best interests.

Once their condition reaches a certain point, it may not be possible – because of the symptoms mentioned earlier – for them to effectively communicate what they want. That’s why if such a plan is being put together, it’s important that it’s done early on.

Here are just a few of the things that should be discussed in a care plan for dementia.

Who’ll Provide Care:

In many family units there may be one member able to step in and care for an ill relative. However, this isn’t going to be the case for all families. Childcare, work commitments and education can all impact on an individual’s capacity to administer care. In these circumstances professional care may be required, especially as the condition progressively worsens.

When consulting professional care there are a number of available options. For example, residential care homes can provide round-the-clock specialist care to people suffering from dementia. They also have the specially adapted facilities designed to cater to people in these circumstances. But, for some the process of moving into a care home, especially when ill, isn’t something they want.

Instead live in care may be a more suitable option. This involves a carer moving in on temporary or full-time basis with the person they’re caring for. Living in a patient’s home enables them to provide the quality of care required on a more frequent basis.

The type of care should be one of the first things determined in a care plan for dementia, and the loved one suffering from the illness should be at the very centre of leading any final decision.

Funding:

Unfortunately care costs money. It’s the last thing anyone really wants to think about when a relative is ill, but getting financial decision-making issues sorted it imperative. Funding the cost of care may be straightforward for those with assets, large pensions or life savings.

In others, financial help may be required. The government offers this support through a number of benefit schemes. It’s well worth looking into them – researching them thoroughly – whilst developing any care plan for dementia.

Louisa Jenkins is a blogger and home care advisor. She regularly creates pieces detailing the steps families affected by dementia could take when creating a care plan for dementia.

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