It can be devastating when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia.
This is often because loved ones are not sure what to expect, support and where to look for the care they require.
This is a guide on choosing the right care facilities and services for those with loved ones who have been diagnosed with dementia, or are showing early signs of dementia.
What is dementia?
Dementia itself is not a disease, but rather a general term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
The effects of dementia vary significantly from person to person, meaning the care of dementia sufferers needs to be personalised to their unique requirements. In many cases a person’s dementia can worsen over time, meaning it’s crucial for their level of care to adapt to their changing needs.
What are my options?
If you’re just beginning to explore aged and dementia care options in your area to determine which care option is going to be best for your loved one, it can be useful to consider and compare some of the most popular care services in Australia.
These include in-home care, nursing homes and in-facility care, and group home care, which is a relatively new concept in Australia, based on a hugely successful international model.
In-home aged care
In-home aged care and dementia care can be a good option for someone who has minor memory loss or impairment, but is still currently able to care for themselves and remain independent.
In-home care can be stressful – but useful in supporting their independence until the next level of care is required. It is not recommended for people with more severe symptoms of dementia, unless round-the-clock and live-in in-home care is available.
Nursing and aged care homes
Traditional nursing and aged care homes are based on a large-scale hospital model. Generally a large number of residents are cared for and live in one facility, assisted by a number of staff, carers and nurses.
Aged care homes and dementia care facilities can be a useful option for people with significant dementia and additional health problems – particularly in the case of those facilities that offer specialist medical care in-house. A drawback is that, given the scale of nursing home facilities, these units sometimes offer limited one-on-one care.
At Group Homes Australia, we only have small groups of residents in each home 6- 8. This means we have a high carer-to-resident ratio – typically of 1:3.
Group homes for Aged Care
Though still a relatively new concept in Australia, the group homes aged and dementia care model is based on a successful international concept, whereby residents are cared for and supported to live as independently as possible in a group home environment.
The concept and philosophy is based on focusing on peoples abilities not disabilities, we don’t have ridged institutional routines, 24 hours care in the comfort of the group home , 6-8 people, so small in scale and a very hi staff to resident ratio of 1:3. This ensures that each carer is responsible for the wellbeing of fewer residents to ensure more one-on-one time and a higher overall quality of care.
Ready to take the next step in your dementia care journey and explore the right option for your parent, spouse or loved one? To learn more about the dementia care, contact a Group Homes Australia team member to discuss your loved one’s needs.