Changed living arrangements for people living with dementia

Serious mature woman sitting on the couch thinking

People living with dementia, and their families, require high-quality support and services after a dementia diagnosis is made.

When a family finds themselves caring for a person living with dementia, the living arrangements for their loved one will almost always need some form of implemented change.

Family members may find themselves wondering if their loved one should stay home or transition to aged care.

These are big, life-changing decisions, and it makes sense to seek specialist advice to walk through these changes of circumstances.

At Dementia Detailing, we provide tailored pathways for people living with dementia, and their families, to create positive experiences, ensure safety and comfort.

We understand that it can be confusing and stressful to navigate dementia care plans, particularly when this may include a change to living arrangements.

But there are ways to move through these changes with minimal disruption and with the best interests of the individual living with dementia at the forefront of all decision-making.

Stressed senior woman looking at the bills while in the dining table

What change means for people living with dementia

For people living with dementia, and their loved ones, the changes that dementia brings to their lives are difficult to accept and comprehend.

While change and stress are a part of being human, experiencing change when the brain is affected by dementia can make the experience very stressful for both the person living with dementia and their support network.

People living with dementia are less able to process change at the same capacity or speed as those whose brains are healthy, with less ability to respond to change in a modified, ‘socially acceptable’ way.

According to the Kubler-Ross Change Curve, the human response to change is quite intricate, with the brain running through stages of:

  • Shock: a short-lived stage that may trigger an automatic defence mechanism.
  • Denial: a stage after the initial shock subsides and one may be temporarily unable to move past the previous status quo.
  • Frustration: a stage of anger when the realisation finally hits.
  • Depression: a stage of acceptance, but sadness.
  • Experiment: a stage when attempts to postpone the inevitable often occur.
  • Decision: when fighting the change ends.
  • Integration: when acceptance is complete and the person stops resisting change.

A brain impacted by dementia has the drive to go through this cycle, but the ability to manage the process is altered – making the person living with dementia feel out of control and frustrated.

At Dementia Detailing, we work to assist families grappling with a change in living arrangements for a person living with dementia to minimise the burden of this change.

Our services work to address change and the impact of change on the person living with dementia throughout the entire journey, as change is a constant.

senior woman with walking frame at home

Caring for a parent living with dementia at home

Family members and friends often find themselves taking on the role of caregiver after a loved one is diagnosed with dementia.

Caring for a parent living with dementia can be a rewarding role, but it can also be a tiring and difficult one, particularly in the beginning.

The good news is that there is support and help available to dementia carers, with family consultation and patient discovery the first steps in navigating a new carer role.

One of the first questions that often crops up is how feasible it is to continue to care for a parent living with dementia at home.

It makes sense that the person living with dementia will want to stay in their own home, where they are comfortable, and Dementia Detailing works through this initial phase with a person-centred, individualised approach.

If you wish to support a person living with dementia to continue living at home, some considerations include:

  • How to make the house safe – physical safety is paramount and should be your first priority when caring for a parent with dementia at home. Ask us how to take steps to ensure the house is safe, well-lit, free of physical obstacles and hazards such as rugs, floor mats, electrical boards and unsteady furniture.
  • Making daily tasks easier – can you change the clocks in the home to be easier to read with larger digits?
  • Personal alarms – personal alarms and back-to-base monitoring are often a good idea for people living with dementia who continue to live in their own home.

There’s a lot to consider when you make modifications to a home to best suit the needs of a person living with dementia.

If you would like to know more about how we can assist you to support a loved one to continue to live at home after a dementia diagnosis, contact us today to take the first steps.

We can assist you to determine the level of care required by the person living with dementia, and how to make this decision in a way you feel supported and cared for.

Home Caregiver helping a senior woman get dressed in her bedroom

Respite care for people living with dementia

Oftentimes, when a family is dealing with a dementia diagnosis, it may be possible for the person living with dementia to share their living arrangements with a family member or loved one.

While this situation works well for some families, it is necessary to consider the development of carers’ fatigue and burnout.

Government subsidised respite care provides an organised, temporary break both for carers and the person they care for by allowing someone else to do the caring for a few hours or days.

This has benefits for both parties as the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of carers is as important as that of person for whom they care.

Respite care can take place in various locations including in the home, in a respite day centre, in residential aged care, and for community access respite in a community setting.

Respite care can take the form of a few hours to a full day, or overnight to a weekend or longer. Specialised respite care is also available for people with particular needs such as those living with dementia.

Dementia Detailing can assist families navigating a dementia diagnosis to understand how, when and why respite care can best be utilised by the primary carer to avoid burnout and to assist to optimise their loved one’s respite experience.

Respite care can also be an option to explore as needs are changing.

Agent happily handshaking with senior clients

Dementia Detailing helps you find the path forward

It can feel lonely and overwhelming to begin to make changes to the living arrangements of a person living with dementia, and family members need and deserve support to navigate this new path.

At Dementia Detailing, we are experts in helping families through this difficult time, and we specialise in uncomplicating the process for our clients and helping them to forge the best path forward.

Our care plans are detailed road maps that cover the what, how and why of each aspect of care – including the important issue of finding the right living arrangements for the person living with dementia.

For more information on how to best navigate a change in living arrangements for people living with dementia, contact us today.

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