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When Should a Dementia Patient Be Put in a Home?

September 14, 2023

Is your loved one with dementia becoming irritable and isolated? Are they suffering from more severe lapses in memory and judgment? Are you increasingly worried about their safety?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be time to consider when it makes sense to move your loved one into a home made for their memory care. Here, we’ll address some of the options for where dementia patients can live and factors to look out for when considering this difficult decision.

Where Should Someone with Dementia Live?

People with dementia have a choice as to where they should live, and the decision can depend on many things, such as their current cognitive abilities, stage of dementia, and level of care needs. Some options where dementia patients can live include assisted living facilities, at home with family members and caregivers, small group homes for dementia patients, memory care units, nursing homes, short-term respite care, and hospice care.

Can a Dementia Patient Be Cared For at Home?

A dementia patient can absolutely be cared for at home. It is a popular option for people with dementia as it makes sense for their families. A major benefit of caring for a parent with dementia at home is that that environment will be familiar to them, reducing their confusion and anxiety. Home care can allow dementia patients to keep up a sense of independence, comfort, and control over their surroundings. Additionally, family members are able to play a very active role in caregiving which can be comforting.

To read more about if a dementia patient can be cared for at home, read this blog.

Do Dementia Patients Do Better At Home?

Whether a dementia patient will do better at home or in some kind of care facility depends on various factors. While home care has advantages, it also has its drawbacks, and when someone’s stage of dementia worsens, it may be time to consider more specialized care. For example, caring for someone with dementia at home can be physically and emotionally taxing on caregivers, especially if they’re untrained family members taking on the duties. Ensuring a safe environment for dementia patients while maintaining a comfortable home can also prove difficult. Finally, people with dementia often experience social isolation due to not being able to regularly see people, which is easier done in a care home.

When Should Someone with Dementia Go Into a Care Home?

For many people with dementia, there comes a time when it makes more sense to leave their homes and live in a space attuned to their care. Care homes are essentially designed for people like dementia patients. They provide safe spaces, structured routines, opportunities for activities and socializing, and round-the-clock dementia care professionals.

Here are some considerations that could indicate that it’s time to think about moving someone with dementia into a care home or other facility:

  • They’re truly declining in cognitive function.
  • You are worried for their safety in their home.
  • They’re continuing to exhibit behavioral challenges.
  • They’re becoming increasingly lonely and isolated.
  • You do not have the available resources to take care of them at home.

Can a Person with Dementia Refuse to Go to a Nursing Home?

Ultimately, people with dementia can decide whether or not they go to a nursing home. Their wishes should be respected as much as possible to the extent that their decision-making capacity allows. In the early stages of dementia, for example, individuals often have the capacity to make decisions about their living arrangements. However, once it has progressed to the point where they are no longer able to make informed decisions, family members and healthcare professionals need to consider what is in the person’s best interests.

How Long Does It Take a Dementia Patient to Adjust to a Nursing Home?

While it can vary from person to person, it’s understandably difficult for many dementia patients to make the switch from home care to a nursing home or other facility. It takes some patients weeks or even months to adjust due to increased anxiety in an unfamiliar environment. We recommend allowing for a gradual transition, if possible, perhaps by visiting the facility, meeting the staff, and getting them used to the environment before they actually move in.

We Have Your Loved One’s Best Interest at Heart

Caring for loved ones with dementia is not a simple ask. We are here for you during this process, and if their condition progresses to the point where a memory care facility could be right for them, Story Cottage could be the place. We are a first-of-its-kind, exclusive, private-pay residential-style memory care option in Indianapolis and Carmel with an unparalleled staffing ratio, offering dedicated oversight to older adults suffering from memory loss. Reach out today to learn more about how we care for your loved ones.