Reputable nursing homes are fully equipped to take care of the elderly and the sickly, which is why many of us are confident in our decision to move aging loved ones into one of these facilities; however, when a loved one starts to display signs of a memory-related illness such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you need to reevaluate the situation. Nursing homes are not the same as specialised dementia care facilities, which we will go into in detail, and nursing homes with dementia care wards are also not equal to facilities dedicated to dementia care. 

Knowing when it is time or necessary to move your loved one from a nursing home to a specialised dementia care facility is also crucial, but not always easy because age-related dementia is not sudden but rather a slow cognitive decline. However, there are a few signs that you could look out for that signal that the time is right to change nursing homes:

5 signs your loved one needs specialised dementia care:

  1. They are given an Alzheimer’s, dementia or another dementia-related condition diagnosis by a doctor.
  2. They require more from their current caregivers, up to 24/7 monitoring.
  3. There is an overall decline in health.
  4. No more social life or very little interaction with others.
  5. Your instincts tell you that they need more from their care facility. 

A person with dementia will need more care and support as their symptoms get worse over time, and nursing homes are not always equipped to deal with the challenges that come along with dementia patients specifically with regards to memory care therapy and memory stimulation activities. This may mean that a move into a specialised dementia care facility that can better meet their needs is the only suitable option.

What makes a specialised dementia care facility different to a nursing home?

Caters to underlying ailments

Dementia exhibits in so many forms and can be caused by many underlying ailments. Alzheimer’s disease is the highest contributor of dementia, but dementia also includes, but is not limited to: Korsakoff Syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia and Vascular Dementia. More often than not, nurses and carers in nursing homes have not been trained sufficiently on how to deal with each of these types of dementia.

Dedicated training

Nursing homes are able to cater to the physical needs of their residents, but for those living with dementia, unless they have dedicated training in all the types of the disease, the staff  are not equipped for their mental needs of the patient which can lead to frustration in the carer and the patient. Not receiving specialised care can also mean their rapid cognitive deterioration. Specialised facilities require their staff to undergo specialized training to care for the unique needs of dementia patients.

Medication management

In a dedicated dementia care facility, all medications are carefully regulated as well as administered on a strict schedule. The carers are trained to look out for indications that a resident’s regimen needs to be altered, and are able to quickly implement changes once approved by the doctor on the staff.

Physical differences in environment

Specialised dementia care facilities are architecturally designed to meet the specific needs of people living with dementia. The idea is to create a safe environment where people with dementia are able to wander, without feeling stressed or getting lost. There is also extra emphasis placed on security to prevent patients from wandering off of the property, more so than in conventional nursing homes. 

Livewell Estates is a specialised dementia and Alzheimer facility in South Africa with qualified and trained nursing and care staff providing round the clock care to their residents. If you need help deciding on what is best for your loved one, speak to one of our trained family advisors today.