Why UK Care Homes Struggle With Dementia Patients

Care homes in the UK provide care to around one million residents.In the region of seventy percent of these patients will be suffering from some form of dementia or memory loss. But are care homes the best place for an elderly patient with dementia? Or should we be looking at other options?


One of the key requirements for anyone living with dementia, is feeling secure.Moving an elderly dementia sufferer into a care home could mean they are being put in an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people around them as well as a schedule they may find completely alien to them. This may make them feel increasingly insecure and anxious.

Care homes are finding increasingly stretched budgets and the ability to offer full time personalised care to any individual over and above their welfare needs is increasingly difficult.  A high number of residents living with dementia or memory loss, each with differing requirements, requires staffing that care homes are likely to find difficult.

Social interaction

Care home carers, no matter how much they might want to, simply do not have the time to dedicate to many social interactions with residents on an individual basis as often, or more importantly, at a time when the resident actually needs it.  Caring for a person with dementia requires a consistency of personnel to give them security. This can be difficult for care homes, as worker shift patterns and staffing changes can mean that the resident sees many different carers over several days.

Dementia is known to be twice as likely to occur in lonely people, and whilst an individual may appear surrounded by people in a care home, that does not mean they are not lonely. Moving into a care home, away from familiar surroundings and people, can accelerate a decline in the development of the disease.  Live in care can help alleviate some of these issues.

Helping them remember

In addition to this, each dementia patienthas the potential to have moments where they are lucid and remember, and different triggers to help them recall and enjoy reminiscing.Yet they are faced with a structured environment within a home, where carers may not notice the signs they are lucid or have time to share memories with them. This could have a negative impact on their wellbeing, according to an Alzheimer’s Society report.

What options do I have?

Care at home can be more beneficial to those living with dementia than a care home environment.Home care brings the benefit of a live in carer so that dementia patients don’t have to face the upheaval of moving out of familiar surroundings as their condition progresses. An in home carercan adjust and adapt the care they give to meet the individuals’ requirements. They will get to know how their clients tick, so the good and bad moments are recognised and activities and help is tailored to ensure that the client can lead a fulfilling life for as long as possible.

With live in care able to offer a personalised service, no regimes or structured days that are geared to the needs of many, could it be the alternative for a loved one with dementia or memory loss? It’s certainly worth consideration.