Does it have to be a dementia only care home?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Spiro, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. Spiro

    Spiro Registered User

    Mar 11, 2012
    #1 Spiro, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
    Just wondered how many people have placed their loved ones in dementia only home?

    Some of the homes I visited had a mixture of residents with dementia, plus those who were there due to old age, all living together as one community. Whereas in others the residents with dementia lived in a separate wing.

    If someone does not have challenging behaviour and is unlikely to wander, do they need to live in a specialist dementia home?

    The most important thing seemed to be the staff/resident ratio, the staff training and the activities provided. That, plus a good manager.
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    I visit a lot of care homes and almost all of them are a mixture. I think it is preferable if it is possible
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    If I were to be simply suffering from frailty in old age then would I want to share a home with people who had dementia I ask myself?
    Would a home that's not geared up for handling people with dementia be prepare to take someone on bearing it's only likely to get worse then as has happened on here many times they'll ask you to move them out as they can't cope.
    I have a friend who has from birth had a serious physical handicap and she hated the "old days" when the physically and mentally handicapped were all put in the same boat, she went on to get a degree and has an IQ of over 150.
    I guess what I'm saying is mixing people with "similar" but different needs probably isn't the best idea in my opinion, for myself if I was of sound mind but physically not so then I would maybe want peace in a quiet and calm environment and although your loved one currently may be like that there's no guarantee it's going to last.
    Just my opinion, there is no right and wrong on this one.
  4. mungobella

    mungobella Registered User

    Dec 29, 2013
    My FIL recently moved onto the residential floor of a care home. After a week, the staff insisted on him going to the dementia floor. We wanted a care home that had both types of care, as we knew he would need specialised dementia care eventually and we wanted the transition to be as easy as possible. We still wonder if it was a bit too early. There were certainly people with much worse dementia problems on the residential floor, but since FIL is fully mobile his dementia was probably having more of an impact on people than those who had dementia but were a bit more settled or in wheelchairs--he was walking around a lot and we suspect, though we haven't been told explicitly, that he's been wandering into other people's rooms. He seems perfectly content on the dementia floor. There are things that are more geared to dementia in the dementia unit--wardrobes have glass doors so that they can tell the clothes are there, all rooms have large, clear labels with pictures, there are memory boxes outside each person's room to help them remember which one is there's.
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Mum is in a dementia only CH because when she went in she was a wanderer. After she had been in there a few months, however. she hit one of the carers and I was appalled. The CH, however was not concerned. I spoke to the carer that she had hit and the carer said not to worry, she wasnt hurt, it happened every now and then and she knew what had triggered it and how to avoid it happening again.
    I was so impressed and also realised that this demonstrated her training. If mum had been in a mixed Care Home then the carers would not have had specialised dementia training and I suspect that mum would have been asked to leave. I am constantly amazed by the way that the carers manage to persuade awkward residents to do things and the way they defuse potentially explosive situations.
  6. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    It can seem scary to think of your relative going into a specialist wing, but by and large, they themselves don't seem to notice or be bothered by the same things as you.

    I chose a specialist dementia unit for my mum, mainly because, like you Kevini, my parents had said some years ago when visiting my aunt in a mixed home, that if they were physically-disabled and confined to a wheel chair, they wouldn't want to spend all day every day in the midst of others with dementia. I wouldn't want that for myself either.

    One big advantage of a specialist home or wing is that everyone with dementia is treated as perfectly normal. The staff and indeed any visitors enter 'dementia world' once they pass through the doors. I suspect that's why many residents become calmer in the CH because the problems that stressed them trying to adapt to life outside have been removed and they are no longer regarded as a different. :)
  7. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    Same with my quiet-little-mouse of a mum - she took a swing at a carer too. :eek: I was shocked but, like you, they accepted that was what happened from time to time and they knew what to do.
  8. Spiro

    Spiro Registered User

    Mar 11, 2012
    #8 Spiro, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
    Preferable that it is a specialist home?

    That suggests there is a shortage of EMI homes.
  9. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    #9 Witzend, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
    I think it's very nice in theory for there to be a mix, but in practice there can be problems. People without dementia in a care home are usually by definition frail and vulnerable, and can't honestly be expected to cope with certain behaviours that can come with dementia.

    It doesn't have to be aggression or lashimg out - I have seen cases where e.g. a resident simply would not leave another resident in peace, always wanting to talk to them, being 'in their face' all the time, or insisting that they sit or come here or there, or do X or Y. And the PWD will not understand that they must not do it, so it takes a lot,of staff time, trying to distract them or steer them away. Though of course this can and does also happen when they both have dementia.

    And of course there is the question of going into other people's rooms and helping themselves to things. In a dementia-only unit this has to be accepted - staff are never going to be able to watch everyone all the time - but people without dementia will certainly not be happy about it.

    We had to move an aunt from an 'ordinary' residential home to one with a dementia wing when her behaviour started to bother the non dementia residents. She had not been too bad when she went in, and they did tell us that she might have to move eventually. In the event it was over two years, and I think it was only fair on the other residents, most of whom were frail to some extent.

    A lot will IMO depend on the stage of dementia when someone goes into a CH, and their personality. If they are very placid and compliant it may be fine, but if they tend to be bossy or controlling, or just plain stroppy...
    My mother was pretty bad when she went into her CH - it was dementia-only and we were very happy with it. Nobody ever turned a hair at any odd behaviour - it was 'normal'.
  10. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    East Yorkshire UK
    Mum has tried 2 homes for respite. One had a dementia wing but put her in the nursing wing as they said she fitted in there better. She is very self contained in her daily life but doesn't actually need any nursing either - her dementia medication is her only medication. The other had two floors and were happy to try her on the ground floor which was nursing, and again said she fitted in there best.

    That would mean that she would just move 'areas' were she to deteriorate rather than having to move homes. However some homes I contacted only had nursing non-dementia care, and turned Mum down flat immediately, or only had a dementia focus (they had no spaces at that point).

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