Dementia Care: Frequently asked Questions
Dementia care can be a daunting field, especially considering it often involves your loved ones. Our team of care experts have put together this list of commonly asked questions, to give you peace of mind for dementia care and considering care homes.
What is dementia care?
Dementia Care is any care that specifically takes into account the needs of someone that is living with dementia.
There are many types of dementia including Alzheimers disease, Vascular dementia, Mixed dementia, Lewy body dementia, Frontal-temporal dementia and Parkinson’s disease dementia.
If you are living with dementia, you can have a good quality of life with specialist help, support and quality care. A specialist dementia care home can help you to live well with your symptoms which isn’t just about memory loss.
When should someone with dementia go into a care home?
Listen to your instincts and remember to take care of your own needs too. Often people thrive and eat better when coming into a care home where they can receive expert dementia care.
Caring for a loved one at home can be challenging, but often people don’t start looking for a home until they are at crisis point, and desperate. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead, as the best homes have waiting lists.
Church Farm Care can provide full nursing care, respite, for a few weeks so you can have a break, or for day care which gives you a rest and helps any permanent transition when it becomes needed as the care home will be a familiar place, people who work there will get to know your loved one.
You caring for your loved one doesn’t end when they come to live with us, you can visit every day at any time, go for a walk, have a meal (due to covid, currently we can’t do this but hope to soon).
We become partners with you to provide the best quality of life for your loved one.
Do dementia patients pay for care?
There are different types of care available for someone who is living with dementia, and what help you get and from where depends on the level of care you need.
Residential Care is for someone who doesn't have any nursing needs, Nursing Homes like Church Farm Care must employ nurses 24 hours a day and all our nurses are experts in dementia which is unique. to work out how much funding you can get help with, you will need a multidisciplinary assessment.
How much care you need will be based on your physical, mental health, social needs and financial resources. This is carried out by your local social services department.
If your savings fall below £23,250, your council might be able to help with the cost of care, there's more information about this on the NHS website.
If you need nursing care you will need a second assessment by the NHS who can contribute a flat rate of £209.19 a week which is paid directly to the nursing home to cover your nursing needs. You can find out more information about this on the NHS website.
In severe cases where nursing and physical needs are very complex and you need constant nursing care or constant supervision the NHS will cover all of your care costs, this is called Continuing Health Care.
What is a person centred approach to dementia care?
The best standard of care, and the only type of care you would want to have is person centred care.
This means you will be cared for as an individual, people will talk to you, not over you, consult you on your everyday choices, include you in your care, take time to find out about what you like, how you like to live, what foods you like, music you listen to, to how independent you are able to be.
Non-person centred care would be a lesser kind of care and thankfully most care homes have realised that Person Centred Care provides better care and a happier person.
At Church Farm Care, we will look after you as though you are our family, we eat together, share and enjoy the day together and laugh together.
How to pay for dementia care
The first thing to do is arrange for an assessment through your GP or social worker, the multidisciplinary assessment is free and will be used to see how much help (if any) you can get towards your care. it will take into account your physical health needs, mental health needs and financial resources.
How to settle a person living with dementia into a care home
We always encourage you to bring photos, pictures, furniture, blankets etc and really make your room your own. We can work ahead with you to make the room feel familiar and homely.
Sometimes it is best not to visit for the first few days to let your loved one settle in but it depends on the person. Tell us as much as you can about your loved one, make sure we know what food they like, favourite music, things they like to do, their routine, as much as you can tell us will help. At the moment we are booking visits or in some circumstances you may be able to be classed as an essential carer where you are more like a member of staff. Please contact us for more information.
How many caregivers are caring for parents with dementia?
At Church Farm Care we work to a minimum of 1 carer to 4 residents to provide the highest quality of care. We believe this creates a much better living environment for residents.
How much are dementia care home fees?
Care home fees can vary widely depending on the quality of care home, level of nursing needed, environment, and CQC ratings.
You would typically pay more for a care home with a Good or Outstanding rating from CQC. The local councils also give a banded rating which determines quality of care, with 5 being the highest. If you get support from your local council and NHS you will need to privately pay a top up fee to cover the fees of the higher rated homes on top of this.
Can a patient with dementia refuse care
A person living with dementia has the right to refuse certain care and shouldn’t be forced into anything as long as they are safe. If someone doesn’t want a shave for example, just try again later. Prioritise the important things.
If you get frustrated they will feel it too, so take a break and come back to it later. A persons’ taste can change when they have dementia, so if someone is refusing a favourite meal, maybe try something different. Staff members in specialist dementia homes would have training in communication and techniques to use in these situations.
How to care for person living with dementia at home
Caring for someone with dementia at home can be made easier with the right support, advice and information. If you are exhausted, drained and stressed, it will be hard to be patient and understanding. Share your family situation with friends and family as support from them will become invaluable. Your GP can help too, or there may be local support groups. Search for the things your loved one still enjoys and look for their remaining strengths. Spend time outside, take walks, gardening or household chores like pairing socks, give lots of hugs and comfort. Listening to familiar music can bring back fond memories.
Is dementia care funded by the NHS
The NHS will fund the nursing element of your care if your assessment determines that you need nursing care.
In April 2021, the rate was set at £187.60 a week and gets paid directly to the care home.
How to get respite care for dementia
There are many types of respite care available, this includes asking friends or family to help so you can have a break, paid home care, short stays in a care home, day care as well as emergency respite care. Sometimes you can get financial help from your local council but an assessment will be needed to determine this. Your social worker can help you to get assessed.
What care settings are available for a person with dementia
When caring for a person living with dementia, care usually starts at home, carers can come into your home to help for a couple of hours a day to full time. Day care and respite care is available at some care homes like Church Farm Care. If you don’t have any nursing needs, residential care would be suitable. A Nursing home or Care home can provide 24 hour nursing care and a Dementia Nursing Home like Church Farm Care can provide nursing care where all carers and nurses have been highly trained to provide care especially for someone living with dementia, to give them the best quality of life and well-being.
What is a dementia care home
A Nursing home or Care home can provide 24 hour nursing care and a Dementia Nursing Home like Church Farm Care can provide nursing care where all carers, nurses and all members of staff have been highly trained to provide care especially for someone living with dementia, to give them the best quality of life and well-being.
The environment of a dementia care home is often especially designed to make a persons daily life easier, using subtle design details can help someone orientate themselves around the home, smaller ‘households’ with living rooms and kitchens that are freely accessible provide a home setting where someone can feel occupied and valued and retain valuable independence.
What is respite care for dementia
There are many types of respite care available, which can be for a few hours or a couple of weeks. This includes asking friends or family to help so you can have a break, paid home care, short stays in a care home for a few days to a few weeks, day care as well as emergency respite care.
How to take care of a parent with dementia
Share your family situation with friends and family as support from them will become invaluable. Your GP can help too, or there may be local support groups. Search for the things your parent still enjoys and look for their remaining strengths. Spend time outside, take walks, gardening or household chores like pairing socks, give lots of hugs and comfort.
Listening to familiar music can bring back fond memories, making a playlist on Spotify of your parents’ favourite music is something they can bring with them to appointments or walks as a calming tool. creating a life story book or a list of things to know about your parent can help any other future carers to get to know them better.
What is dementia care mapping
Dementia Care Mapping is an observational tool for measuring quality of life and is widely recognised in key national policy and guidance. It has an important role in recognising quality of care and helps carers see life from the perspective of the person with dementia. It can be used at an individual care planning level to optimise a persons’ day. It measures a person’s well-being and ill-being throughout a period of time.
What to look for in a care home for dementia
Do your research, talk to others or read reviews, visit as many homes as possible, but most people have a good feeling within the first few minutes if this is the ‘right’ home.
Questions to think about are is the atmosphere good? Do carers look friendly and calm? This may mean there is a good staff to resident ratio.
Specialist dementia care should have a higher ratio. Is there easy access to enjoy the outside garden? Does the home have a good or outstanding CQC rating? Does the home offer extensive staff training. Is the environment dementia friendly? A good dementia care home will have taken this into consideration but the staff team also need to be right.
Lastly remember you are looking for a home, do the people and the environment feel homely, warm and loving?
FAQs - Author
Helen has 17 years of leadership experience, specifically in the field of dementia care. As lead of the Learning and Development arm with Alzheimer’s Society she published a range of specialist books and training resources and providing high quality training that supported organisations to change the culture of dementia care. Helen moved to the post of Director of Operations with Dementia Care Matters for 6 years; assisting with the strategic development and implementation of Dementia Care Matters model of care. Helen provided care homes with design consultancy and managed complex “Butterfly Household Projects” through a highly acclaimed culture change programme.
As Head of Operations, with the Church Farm Care group from January 2016 until 2022, Helen worked alongside the Directors, Management team, staff and linked professionals to maintain a high quality of nursing and dementia care that provides a feeling of security, belonging, love and family to people living in our homes, their families and people enjoying day care.