Dementia can be an emotional journey and moving into full-time care may be a difficult decision for the resident and their family. You must be absolutely confident that the care home you choose has the right facilities, skills and approach to support people whose lives are changed by dementia.
Hallmark Care Homes is a member of the Dementia Action Alliance, is signed up to the national Dementia Pledge and is actively involved in research projects to improve standards of dementia care. We are proud to be part of the Housing and Dementia Research Consortium to support research on what practices best support people living with dementia in an effort to positively influence policy and practice for dementia care in the UK.
Watch our video below to find out about dementia care at Hallmark Care Homes:
What is Dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term for a number of neurological conditions, which include:
- Vascular dementia
- Lewy Body dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
It is not a natural part of the ageing process but the risks of developing dementia do increase with age. The symptoms are caused by physical changes to the brain and are unique to the individual.
Typical Early Signs of Dementia
Identifying the early signs of dementia can be vital in diagnosing and preventing the illness. With Alzheimer’s disease being the most renowned and common type, being able to seek medical help and implement relevant treatments to slow down and prevent progression at an early stage can provide a better quality of life for longer. This proves beneficial for not only the person, but for the family too.
If you believe that your friend or loved one is showing any of the typical signs of dementia, it is suggested that you take them to visit a medical professional sooner rather than later. Indications of dementia include:
- Losing the ability to learn a new skill and finding the process difficult and frustrating
- Finding it hard to get used to any physical or sensory changes
- Daily activities becoming harder than before, such as making a cup of tea, getting dressed or even following conversations
- Having trouble recalling recent events and conversations; finding it hard to remember things
For more information on dementia, download our guide to dementia.
Our Dementia Care
The Hallmark Care Homes’ approach to supporting all residents – relationship-centred care – is especially important for residents diagnosed with dementia. Our dementia care team receive ongoing training to make sure they have the communication and observational skills vital for optimum care.
We know that by building compassionate, trusting relationships and by knowing the individuals’ biography, personality and life journey, we can help people (and their families and friends who share the journey) to live enjoyable, stimulating and fulfilling lives. Our comprehensive strategy outlines exactly how we deliver this level of care to all residents. To find out more you can download a summary of the strategy here.
Using the ‘About Me’ booklet, we build a lifestyle profile and tailor the environment, the attention and the support to each individual. And don’t forget the activities. Life is for living, so we ensure every day is as stimulating and enjoyable as possible and nothing makes us – and residents – happier than the involvement of friends and family.
Watch our video below to see how we are working to implement the Hallmark Care Homes’ Dementia Strategy.
Important Factors for Dementia Care
Dementia can make everyday activities and tasks seem overwhelming, but this can often be relieved by changes to the environment. As the perception of the world around them changes, a person may experience increased feelings of disorientation, often manifesting in anxiety and other feelings of stress. As a result, a spacious, safe and homely environment can provide comfort and allow them to navigate independently more efficiently. Not only does this help those with dementia to live comfortably, but it also helps to encourage a clearer head and a more independent way of life.
When designing an environment for those living with dementia, we keep residents in mind. Light is a factor that needs particular consideration; shadows and dark areas of a room can appear misleading and confusing, so we choose optimised lighting in order to eliminate these. By keeping things spacious and installing carefully-placed lighting, you can open up a room and encourage a safe, stimulating home for your loved one.
Carefully handpicked to assist the independence of residents, specially-designed furniture is fitted into each bedroom to ensure safety and comfort during each moment of the day. This way, your loved one can truly enjoy life with limited concerns about safety or anxiety.
Each of our care homes has been built with wide corridors that are decorated with carefully chosen items that can help people find their way. These act as subtle signage to help residents navigate independently, all while providing that all-important homely touch.
Beyond the building, if they wish to have a breath of fresh air, the easily accessible outside space allows residents to have the opportunity to enjoy the large patio and terraced areas, which in turn encourages gentle exercise.
Our understanding and highly trained team are able to recognise signs of dementia and will assist with making each and every new resident feel at ease and cared for, while promoting independence. Signs of dementia will be communicated to the family and other relevant team members, to keep their care plan updated and ensure residents get the care they need.
The process of eating and drinking can become difficult for people living with dementia, but our team is on hand and fully trained to ensure that loved ones will be getting the nutrition they need. We conduct full assessments for every new resident and can discuss this in full with you and your family for extra peace of mind.
Who Can Make The Decision?
Those with dementia in its early stages are still able to make decisions for themselves, meaning that they can ultimately come to the conclusion as to whether they want to move into a care home or not.
For those in the latter stages of dementia, usually at the point in which they require care or assistance, they may be considered unable to make the decision for themselves. It is therefore wise to put into place a lasting power of attorney for both finance and health & welfare to enable a loved one to make these decisions on their behalf. More information on lasting power of attorney can be found in our handy guide.
If you have more questions, speak to your nearest Hallmark care home today.
FAQs about Dementia Care
What is dementia care?
Dementia care is the act of supporting residents living with dementia. It is provided by specialist carers who are highly experienced and trained to assist with conditions where decline in cognitive function accumulates.
Hallmark Care Homes invests in evidence-based dementia training and continuous practice development to ensure people living with dementia are cared for in the best way. Dementia care is more than providing a comfortable and safe environment in our care homes, the team build compassionate relationships over time to genuinely understand each and every need of all those living in our homes.
Our dementia care goal is to provide a foundation for residents to live a stimulating and fulfilled life and we are dedicated to achieving this as above all, we care.
When should someone living with dementia move into a care home?
Making a decision about moving a loved one into a care home is tough. You may have been caring for someone at home and it’s understandable to feel a range of emotions as you consider all of the factors involved.
Some of the questions you might be asking yourself may include:
- Is your loved one becoming less independent, and are their increasing needs becoming more difficult to meet?
- Is it becoming harder to keep your loved one safe?
- What effect is caring for your loved one having on you and your family?
- What would their new home need to look and feel like to enable them to feel comfortable and secure?
- Will the people caring for your loved one understand their individual needs and know how to reassure them?
- How can you, and everyone who’s important to them, continue to be involved in their care and share their lives if they move into a care home?
Dementia care is vitally important for those who need it. It is a progressive condition that will bring about changes over time. With the right training, professional carers can support those living with dementia to live happy and purposeful lives in the way that’s right for them. Hallmark Care Homes provide relationship-centred dementia care and have the resources to ensure your loved one can do exactly that.
It’s a difficult decision to make, and we understand that it’s not a decision that can be made lightly. Speak to our team to discuss the needs of your loved one and to find out more about dementia care services at Hallmark Care Homes.
How do you care for a parent living with dementia at home?
Supporting a parent through their journey with dementia at home undeniably requires big adjustments for everyone concerned. It can be difficult to see their health decline and to adapt your way of life as things change.
An important aspect of providing dementia care at home is to create a safe environment. If there are aspects of daily living that pose a particular risk to your loved one, then you may need to think about putting additional measures in place to manage them. Living with dementia may not mean that people will no longer wish to do the things they’ve always liked to do, such as baking, or going for a walk. It might just mean that consideration needs to be given to how the activity can be enjoyed in a safer way. Occupational therapists and other professionals can help you assess any changes that might need to be made within the home.
If you have concerns or feel that you would like support with dementia care, we are here to help. Hallmark Care Homes provide spacious, safe, and homely environments tailored to the needs of people living with dementia. Our approach is to enable people to continue to live happy, comfortable, and full lives.
Do people living with dementia get free care?
Dementia care is sometimes provided for free by a local clinical commissioning group (CCG). An assessment is first carried out to evaluate the severity of dementia with the results determining the eligibility of NHS funded healthcare. Complex and intense cases of dementia are more likely to receive funding.
If the assessment denies eligibility for funding, you can still be referred to your local council where more support options can be discussed.
For more information, read our financial advice guide.