Dementia Care: Who Decides When to Place Someone In a Care Home?

Care Homes

It's hard to determine when a person with dementia should be moved to a care home. As their condition progresses, it's only fair to assume that they will eventually need better care and support. Whether it's the deteriorating conditions or the lack of care at home, it becomes inevitable to make difficult decisions sooner than later.

Why Do People With Dementia Need a Care Home?

While a care home is not necessary for everyone with dementia, it's important to understand that your loved one's needs also progress as the disease progresses. This could mean that they need support and care around the clock, and in some cases, it also means frequent, specialist care that you may not be able to provide with your own commitments at hand. Again, more than time, it's the skills, qualifications, and experience you need to provide someone with dementia with the right form of care.

Who Makes the Decision?

Once it's clear that the time to move a person with dementia into a care home is right, it comes down to two things. Either they make the decision themselves or rely on family, friends, carers, or attorneys to do so.  Only if a person with dementia is unable to make decisions on their own can someone else make them on their behalf.

However, unfortunately, in most cases, by the time a person with dementia requires the level of care a good facility like High Point Care provides, it may be too late. This means their ability or "mental capacity" to make the decision on their own may no longer be there.

When Does an Attorney Come In?

Any deputy or attorney a person with dementia has should be able to make the best decisions for them. Moreover, a lawyer specialising financial affairs, as opposed to health and welfare, is usually able to make this decision more efficiently. This is because they have the power to arrange finances for this type of care. However, family members are eligible to challenge their decision.

In case a person with dementia does not have a deputy or an attorney, the decision can then be passed on to social and health care professionals and people close to the person. Again, disagreements are always likely to happen, and in case they do, a social or healthcare professional can make the final decision. However, that too can be challenged by the person's family.

What to Consider When Making the Decision?

Whoever comes forward on behalf of a person with dementia to make the decision for them must consider the following:

  • Will moving them into a care home be in their best interests, and why?
  • What benefits will they get to enjoy in a care home? 
  • Will they have to give up on any benefits by moving into a care home?

While it's likely that dementia may have already affected the person's thinking capability, it's still important to try and involve them in the discussion as much as possible. This is because they too may have feelings or preferences relevant to the decision. If the person has absolutely no one to decide for them, an IMCA (Independent Mental Capacity Advocate) may be appointed by the local authorities.

What Benefits Can a Care Home Provide to People With Dementia?

Moving into a care home can benefit people with dementia to a great extent, but that usually depends on what stage their disease is at. Early stages often need nothing more than residential care, but it may be possible to incorporate some form of nursing care as it progresses. Here are some benefits a care home provides to a person with dementia.

  • Professional care staff and support are available 24 hours a day
  • Constant supervision to ensure that your loved one is safe
  • Social activities as a part of their daily routine
  • A chance to spend quality time with them as opposed to caring for them. This allows them to be with you without any added pressure.

One of the best facilities most care homes offer is dedicated units for people with dementia or any other conditions. These units may include special lighting, reminiscence rooms, memory rooms, and sensory rooms to help manage their condition. This way, people with a particular condition have access to the best staff and facilities right at their disposal.

In the end, the best way to care for your loved ones with dementia is to accept and acknowledge their needs at the time. This will help you choose the right form of care for them.