At some point in time, 24-hour care might be necessary for a loved one with dementia. Making a decision to move them into a nursing home can be a process fraught with stress, especially with the planning necessary to help make their life as comfortable as possible in the new setting. For both carer and dementia patient, they will experience a period of adjustment in order to accept what will be a big change in their lives.
As a main carer for someone with dementia, how would you feel about this?
- Sometimes it is hard to let go and allowing someone else take charge of the day to day care of a loved one, your mental wellbeing could suffer from the emotional trauma of separation and grief. Primary carers of those with severe dementia may well run into similar difficulties struggling to cope from juggling a caring role with their own needs. Unfortunately, the extra stress from looking after someone with dementia on a full time basis can be easily replaced by the emotions associated with grief and guilt.
- A pending decision about the long term health arrangements required for someone in later years is seldom instantaneous and a variety of challenges can remain, even when a viable decision has been made for them. Deciding upon dementia care in a nursing home frequently requires much soul searching over a protracted period of time. Any reassurance could start with advice and encouragement from GPs, close friends or relations. Unfortunately, solving the enigma of what is for the best concerning your loved one, the solution may not be that straight forward. Such a change in living arrangements are likely to bring on strong feelings of guilt, particularly when:
– one is having an enjoyable experience in the wake of moving a loved one into a nursing home.
– you are anxious about separation from them or from leaving them behind in an unfamiliar place.
– managing expectations of what you had planned for them compared with what actually does happen.
– a dementia patient has refused to be placed in a nursing home setting.
We hope the following coping strategies will help if you are faced with a situation where you are unable to keep a dementia patient at home:
1. Find a close friend or member of the family who you can confide in. Make sure a member staff is available at the Nursing home you can communicate on a regular basis.
2. Support your love one during this period of adjustment by working towards as smooth a transition as possible. Reassure them with your presence during the move into the nursing home which will ease the disruption.
3. Talk to the nursing home staff about their background so they are fully aware of their life story and also the crucial characteristics, upon which will help those who will spend the most time with them to adopt a familiar rapport in which they will feel safe.
4. Don’t be too harsh on yourself if your life takes time to settle down again. During periods of disruption it is understandable to feel displaced while you are processing a number of conflicting emotions along the way.
5. Explore alternate ways to show your love for them. Though you can’t be with them as much as before, there are lots of little ways to show you care.
6. Remember that a nursing home will provide extended access to dementia services and health care which might not have been possible before.
7. Upon reflection, your relationship could become less about the physical needs of a patient and more about spending quality time with them on regular visits therefore providing those more positive memories needed for later.
8. Though on the one hand you will know your loved one is receiving the very best of care, be aware you may still be struggling while coming to terms with the new situation, so cut yourself some slack and seek advice.
Living with Dementia can be a challenge. The lockdown introduces even more challenges. Call and speak to our advisor who can guide you through some practical hints and tips to try and help at this time.