Are Dementia Patients Better Off at Home?

Are dementia patients better off at home, or should they move to a nursing facility? This article will help you make the best decision for your loved one.

Haisey Home Care
October 16, 2023
x min read

There are hundreds of thousands of people with dementia in Australia. This condition is challenging for both the patient and their family members.

At one point in the treatment, the dementia patient has to decide what's the next step. Should the person with dementia move to a nursing home? Or are dementia patients better off at home?

This is an important decision to make. You should take your time to consider what's in the best interest of the dementia patient.

This article will help you decide the best solution for you or your aging loved one.

In-Home Care for People Living with Dementia

If you or your loved one have a dementia diagnosis, you have two options. You can receive dementia care at nursing homes or your own home. Let's discuss the first option.

Older adults can apply for a Home Care Package in Australia. These services are available for elderly people with dementia. Patients with Alzheimer's disease and other chronic conditions can also apply for these services.

If you're eligible for home care services, you can continue to live independently at home. You don't need to have a cognitive disability to apply. Australians over the age of 65 are eligible for these services.

Home Care Packages are funded by the Australian Government. They include professional caregivers who provide home-based health care.

Home Care Packages usually include:

  • Personal care
  • Help with daily tasks
  • Medication management
  • Meal preparation
  • Social activities
  • Light housekeeping
  • Home modifications
  • Occupational therapy
  • Specialised nursing
  • Companionship care
  • Home Health Aides

Once you sign up for a Home Care Package, you can choose your home care provider.

Why You Should Receive Care at Home

You don't have to move to a nursing home if you have a dementia diagnosis. You can receive the care you need in the comfort of your home.

Here are some reasons why you or your loved one should receive dementia care at home:

  • Familiar surroundings
  • The support of friends and family members
  • Help with basic tasks
  • Staying comfortable and independent
  • Personalised treatment
  • One-to-one care
  • Well-being and peace of mind

One of the main reasons for receiving care at home is the familiar environment. People with dementia can continue to live with their family members. They can live in the comfort of their own homes.

People with dementia might need help with everyday tasks. That's what the home care providers are there for.

They may also need help with personal hygiene. For example, bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting, etc.

Professional caregivers can give hands-on assistance with these tasks.

They can also help with preparing meals and nutrition. Some people with dementia may need help with feeding as well.

All the while, home care providers can communicate with the patient's loved ones. That way, they can make sure the patient is getting the best possible care.

Professional caregivers can give the patient's family a break. In-home care also gives the family peace of mind, knowing their loved one is in safe hands.

How Long Can a Dementia Patient Be Cared for at Home?

How long dementia patients can stay at home depends on a few factors. One of the most important ones is the stage of dementia.

As dementia progresses over time, we can divide this condition into three stages:

  1. Early stages
  2. Mid stages
  3. Late stages

Home-based services are best suited for patients with early stages of dementia. People with mild dementia can live at home with minimal help. Family caregivers can help with medical appointments and daily living.

As the disease progresses, the patient may need additional assistance. Patients may need help with personal hygiene and medication management. There's also an increased risk of injury. So, the patient may need safety supervision.

Dementia patients in later stages need the most supervision and long-term care. At this stage, many families decide to move their loved ones to a nursing home.

But that doesn't have to be the case. Even patients in later stages of dementia can receive care at home.

They would usually be assigned to a Level 4 Home Care Package. Level 4 is for patients with complex care needs. It usually includes 24/7 care.

When Is It Time to Move to a Nursing Home?

Someone with dementia might be better off in a nursing home. Of course, this decision depends on many factors.

Your family member might need to go to a nursing home if:

  1. You have safety concerns.
  2. You don't have the means to take care of your loved one at home.
  3. The patient needs care that's only available at nursing homes.
  4. You want your loved one to be in a positive community.
  5. Your loved one needs special medical equipment and assistive technology.
  6. Your family member will have a better quality of life in a nursing home.

If the patient struggles with severe memory loss, it may be a better decision to move them to a facility. Advanced levels of dementia are always hard to handle.

With dementia and Alzheimer's disease, there's always an increased risk of injury. Nursing home residents are much safer at nursing facilities.

Nursing homes provide a support system for dementia care. Being surrounded by people in similar situations can be good for your mental and physical health.

Providing care for a loved one with dementia can be demanding. It can be hard on a physical and emotional level.

These services can provide temporary relief for family caregivers. They can also help manage the demands of dementia care.

Let Haisey Home Care Help You

Dementia care requires patience and professional caregiving. It's a chronic condition that requires non-stop care and support.

Here at Haisey Home Care, we offer compassionate memory care services. All your medical needs can be met at home. We have your best interests and well-being in mind.

If you want to know more about our services, feel free to contact us. You can also schedule a free in-home consultation.