Planning for dementia care can be stressful and overwhelming. The level of care your loved one needs will change over time as their disease progresses. Although you can’t change the diagnosis, you can take positive steps to plan for care. Providing the right care and support at the right time ensures your loved one can live well at home, no matter what stage of their dementia journey.
This guide explains dementia care plans, their purpose and benefits, how dementia care needs change over time, and how you can arrange a free dementia care plan with dementia home care specialists, Trinity Homecare.
What is a dementia care plan?
In health and social care, a care plan is used for an individual who receives care for different reasons. They might be hospital patients or people receiving home care, for example.
A care plan is a personalised roadmap for care and is created after an individual has undergone a care needs assessment, the purpose of which is to clearly identify the individual’s care needs and wishes.
A dementia care plan is a specific type of care planning used for people with dementia. Because dementia is a progressive illness the care needs of your loved one will change over time. There are specific types of care for different stages of the illness that can greatly improve your loved one’s daily life and overall comfort.
A dementia care plan outlines:
- A person’s care needs, their personal wishes and preferences
- The services or devices they will receive to meet those needs
- Who will provide the services and when
What is the purpose of a dementia care plan?
A dementia care plan is not just for care professionals, it can help you and your family better understand the condition and your loved one’s needs so you provide the right care at the right time. The purpose of a dementia care plan is to ensure the highest quality and consistency of care is delivered at all times and that all stakeholders are informed and involved.
A dementia care plan has several purposes:
- It ensures a person-centred approach to care. A dementia care plan is personalised. No matter the situation, the goal of creating a dementia care plan is to ensure that a client’s needs are met to their standards and wishes. It details their personal preferences for care, cultural and religious background/requirements, and their likes, dislikes, character and personal history, allowing carers to provide care to the person and not the disease.
- It is a living document that is used, reviewed and updated regularly by those involved in providing dementia care. Carers routinely record the care given and other details needed to monitor the person and provide the best care possible.
- Outlines how to navigate situations – it could relate to daily plans but can also include emergency procedures and medical issues. This also helps carers prepare for challenging situations before they arise and ensures all involved have the relevant training and experience needed for the person’s individual needs.
- It identifies potential upcoming risks – having a clear assessment of risks reduces the probability of them occurring and alerts carers in advance.
What’s included in a dementia care plan?
As a bespoke, personalised document there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dementia care planning. The needs of your loved one will change dramatically over time, and every time care needs change the care plan will be updated to reflect those needs and the bespoke care that will provide for them.
Typically, a dementia care plan will include:
- The person’s likes, dislikes, abilities, preferences, personality and interests
- How the person used to structure his or her day
- Life stories, lifestyle, beliefs and values
- What times of day the person functions best
- Ample time for meals, bathing and dressing
- Regular times for waking up and going to bed (especially helpful if the person experiences sleep issues or sundowning)
- Daily routine – respecting an established daily routine is critical for people with dementia
- Medical history, current medications and treatments
- Food and mealtime guidelines
- Behavioural symptom management
- Risk management and safety concerns
Dementia care plans for home care
At Trinity Homecare, we have provided dementia care in the comfort of people’s homes for over 25 years. We know through our wealth of experience that dementia care plans are invaluable to the client, their loved ones and the carers involved.
As a CQC-regulated home care provider we are able to carry out free care needs assessments and create dementia care plans. If you would like to arrange a care needs assessment and dementia care plan for dementia care at home get in touch with our team today.
Through our experience, we know that different stages of dementia require different types of care. Here are some of the ways our dementia care plans and home care services are tailored to the needs of people with dementia:
Early-stage dementia care
Symptoms may be fairly mild and centre around forgetfulness and disorientation. Your loved one may be able to do many of the activities they’ve always done, such as volunteering, and attending social events.
At this stage in the condition, it’s important to encourage as much social activity, exercise and cognitive engagement to delay the progression as much as possible. Support may focus on creating daily routines, creating reminder systems, assistance with medication, and encouraging social activities and exercise. Visiting care may be the most suitable type of care at this time and can be arranged for as little as 30 minutes per day or several visits per day.
Putting a dementia care plan in place at this time can help anticipate issues that begin to arise, as well as ensuring that your loved one can input fully into their care plan.
Mid-stage dementia care
At this stage, a person with dementia will require a greater level of care as symptoms become evident. As routine and consistency are key for people with dementia, introducing professional care at this stage is crucial to your loved one’s ability to form a bond and accept the care given to them before the more advanced stages set in.
For many of our clients, this is the time when care transitions from visiting care to live-in care ensuring a carer is available round-the-clock if any needs arise. Care at this stage may focus on daily care needs (such as eating, dressing, bathing and toileting), managing difficult behaviours that may become more pronounced (such as sleep problems, wandering, and aggression), soothing anxiety and irritability (such as sundowning), and supporting family caregivers.
Late-stage dementia care
The late stages of dementia are characterised by a steep deterioration in the person’s condition and they will require 24-hour care that covers daytime and nighttime support. Carers can assist with things like continence, eating and drinking, monitoring weight, nighttime supervision, preparing tailored meals that the person is able to consume, creating comfort and a peaceful environment, and providing ongoing support to family caregivers.
The benefits of dementia home care
There are many benefits to receiving dementia care at home, some of them include:
Personalised one-to-one care
One of the biggest benefits of receiving dementia care at home is that the care is completely bespoke and tailored to the needs of the individual. A home carer can focus all their care and attention on the individual, unlike residential care where a carer’s time is split between many residents and care is generalised.
In addition to understanding your loved one’s personal care needs, a dementia home carer will learn about individual preferences that provide a feeling of comfort and security to your loved one. Things such as favourite television shows, music, and activities can encourage familiar routines. Dementia home care encourages independence by supporting the individual to continue performing daily activities such as cooking, self-care, and meal planning.
Remain in the comfort of home
Being able to stay living in the place one knows best is incredibly beneficial for people with dementia as any changes to their environment can cause intense distress and confusion. Other benefits of living at home include being surrounded by loved ones, memories and pets, which is helpful to minimise symptoms. Friends and family can visit at any time and remain strong features in the daily routine, making it easier for the family to stay involved and connected.
Although nursing facilities usually offer a range of activities for people with dementia, they cannot provide the opportunity to participate in familiar activities at home. Dementia home care offers one-to-one support with home-based activities that also provide cognitive support.
The cost of receiving live-in dementia care is comparable to receiving care in a residential nursing home. This makes it a real option for many families with the added benefits of comfort, convenience and focused one-on-one care.
Dementia care at home provides the care your loved one needs without the extra cost of unneeded services. For example, if you or other family members are able to care for your loved one during evenings and weekends, home care support can be implemented during weekdays to provide significant cost savings.
Support around the home and for all the family
Caring for a loved one with dementia is challenging. Dementia care at home gives support to not only the person with dementia but their family too. Dementia care includes not only practical care for the person but also support around the home with daily chores, emotional support to the family and advice on ways to care and support as the condition progresses.
Dementia care encompasses a wide range of support and help in the home. A dementia carer can help with cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, ordering and collecting medications and many other tasks to help make daily life more manageable, for the person with dementia and their family.
Trained and experienced carers
Dementia carers are trained and experienced in caring for people with dementia. They know how to soothe the person when they become agitated and aggressive, have ways to make the environment more comfortable and can give advice to the family about what to expect at different stages of the disease. A Trinity caregiver will use tailored communication and care strategies, enabling them to overcome obstacles and establish a personal connection with your loved one.
At Trinity Homecare, we carefully select caregivers to match the personality, lifestyle and needs of your loved one. This careful focus ensures a carer that is best suited to your loved one. Many of our clients report that their carer becomes like one of the family, a trusted friend whom they can rely on for support.
How to arrange dementia care with Trinity
To find out how you or a loved one can live well at home with dementia, get in touch with us today. Our expert care team is on hand to take your call 7 days a week, from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm.
We offer a free, no-obligation enquiry service, including a free needs assessment conducted in your home with our professional team, and the creation of a personalised dementia care plan. Simply call us on 020 4530 8756 or complete our online enquiry form to find out how we can help.