By Louise Morris, Senior Compliance Associate
Dementia is not a single disease but a collective term used to describe a decline in memory or brain function that impacts on the person’s daily life.
A person living with dementia may need specialist care, especially as their condition progresses. In many cases, the person might need to move into a care home where their needs will be met more efficiently. When choosing a care home for themselves or a loved one, the latest CQC report is often referred to an indicator of how well the home is preforming and any areas of concern.
Striving for a good or outstanding rating from CQC is highly desirable for all care home providers.
Care homes should follow these pillars of care when looking after dementia patients to provide the best care possible.
Help with Daily Activities
As carers are the patients’ primary caregiver, care home staff are expected to help them with their personal hygiene. Therefore, they may need to help them bathe and change their clothes. Bathing is a very private activity, so they must be sensitive and respectful when doing it.
Carers will also be required to feed them, since they may not realise that they are thirsty or hungry on their own.
Some patients may even be suffering with sundowning, which is a behavioural symptom of Alzheimer’s. people suffering with this may find late afternoon and early evening to be difficult and show signs of restlessness, agitation, irritability or confusion.
However, sundowning can sometimes be confused with someone actually trying to meet a need. People suffering with dementia may be acting in a certain way as they are trying to communicate, not just because it is late afternoon.
Many dementia patients would prefer to live out their days in their homes, but sometimes that is impossible. Bringing in personal items from their former homes such as photos, a favourite piece of furniture, or a blanket can help create a sense of familiarity in the new environment and help them cope much better.
Create Social Engagements
Creating opportunities for social engagements for patients to enjoy is one of the most important things a care home can do. Activities such as walks in the garden, games, music or dining experience can help reduce loneliness and improve self-esteem.
Caring for a partner or relative with this condition can be very stressful and demanding. Anyone that looks after a dementia patient should take advantage of respite care when they may need a break to rejuvenate and look after themselves. Carers can come to the home, or you can take patients to a special day-care centre or a residential centre that offers overnight stays. Respite care can be set-up for as long as it is needed, whether that is a few hours or even a few weeks.
At CQC Compliance Ltd, we believe that every care home has something special to offer, and therefore, we are here to help you with your CQC inspection and registration. Contact us today for more information.