Betty's Home Health Care Blog for Patients and Care Providers

Preparing to look after a relative with dementia

If you have a relative with dementia, you'll know how hard it can be to find a nursing home spot that it both affordable and close enough to your home that you can still regularly visit. If you are looking to prepare for a period of home care for someone with dementia, it can be useful to follow a few simple tips to make sure you are prepared.

Create an easy to navigate environment

People with dementia can easily become overwhelmed when confronted with busy and cluttered areas. Find a place to put away items when not in use, and get out of the habit of leaving on the TV or radio as this extra aural stimulus can be overwhelming and make it hard to concentrate on spoken words.

Keep danger out of the way

While you can't prevent every accident from occurring, it's a sensible precaution to place deadlocks on the door to the outside, as well as locking up potentially dangerous items such as kitchen knives or the car keys. Not only will this keep your relative safe, but it can also help you to relax about having them at home.

Social stimulation

While your relative might have some issues with social interactions at times, such as saying inappropriate things, it's important to ensure they still get a chance to have some social interaction. Local aged care support groups, local religious centres or the local council can be a good place to look for some appropriate social clubs for people with dementia, which are structured and suitably supervised. This can help prevent frustration on their part and give you a break.

Organise some home dementia respite care

Having a family member in the house with dementia can be tiring emotionally and physically. Organising some in-home dementia respite care can give you a chance to have a physical and mental break. With in-home respite care, a carer will come to your home, and look after your relative while you leave to do some other tasks. When you contact My Aged Care, a service run by the government, they can help you to estimate the fees and advise your of local service providers.  This can help you to do necessary tasks like medical appointments, running errands, working out of the home or just having a break and getting some independent social time. 

Planning ahead for this next stage of providing in-home care for your relative with dementia will increase everyone's enjoyment of the time, and it allow you to all maintain some balance. Why not make an in-home care plan today, and maximise your chances of success in keeping them at home?