Nursing Care of Dementia Patients: The Fundamentals

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Sep 19, 2019

Sep 19, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

Dementia affects approximately 50 million individuals worldwide and 10 million new cases get diagnosed each year.

Do you have a parent or loved one who's recently been diagnosed with dementia? Are you struggling to figure out what kind of care they need?

The right nursing care of dementia patients can play a huge role in helping them enjoy a higher quality of life and getting them the assistance they need.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of nursing care and how you can find the best treatment for your loved one.

Types of Nursing Care

There are several different types of nursing care available for people dealing with dementia. The following are some of the most popular options:

Home Care

As the name suggests, this type of care involves someone coming to your loved one's home and providing them with the help they need.

This kind of care can be medical in nature. It can also provide your loved one with help if they struggle with everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning. Some home care aids provide conversation and companionship, too.

Live-in Care

This is an option if your loved one needs round-the-clock care. In these situations, an aide (usually a nurse or someone with medical training), will live with your loved one and care for them. 

Adult Daycare

Adult daycare facilities provide caretakers for people with dementia (as well as other health conditions) for a few hours a day. At these facilities, your loved one will have access to food, medical care, and a variety of activities.

Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities are a type of residential care for people with dementia. They may also be referred to as memory care facilities.

In these facilities, your loved one will have round-the-clock care and will be able to spend time with others who are dealing with the same condition as them.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide more comprehensive care than assisted living facilities. They're geared toward individuals who require additional assistance and/or medical treatment and cannot perform basic activities of daily living on their own.

Benefits of Nursing Care

There are lots of reasons to seek out nursing care for someone with dementia. Even if they're in the early stages of the disease, there are plenty of benefits to having medical professionals on your loved one's side, including the following:

Support and Advice

When you have a medical professional caring for your loved one, it's easier for you to get an objective opinion on the best care for them.

You may have a hard time determining what they need or the right way to help them. Nurses, home health aides, and other dementia care professionals have lots of experience with this disease.

They'll know what to do and will be able to provide you with advice to ensure your loved one is enjoying the highest quality of life possible.

Know What to Expect

Because they have so much experience dealing with dementia, the person or people you hire to help care for your loved one will be able to give you an honest idea of what you should expect moving forward.

They can help you prepare for the future and understand what warnings signs to be on the lookout for. This, in turn, will help you ensure you act quickly to get your loved one additional care as soon as they need it.

Breaks for Other Caregivers

The nurses or home health aides you hire aren't just there to serve your loved one. They're also there to provide support to you.

They can give you a chance to enjoy some independence and take a break. This, in turn, will allow you to be more present and attentive when it is your turn to assist them.

Remember, it's not selfish to need a break. Your self-care is important, too. 

What to Look for in Nursing Care of Dementia Patients

At this point, you're likely convinced that finding nursing care for your loved one is a good idea. How do you find the right type of care for them, though? Here are some tips to help you decide:

Home Care Criteria

If you're looking for someone to care for your loved one in their home, these are some of the factors you ought to take into account:

  • What kind of needs does your loved one have?
  • What level of experience does the caregiver have?
  • Has the caregiver passed a background check?
  • Does the caregiver seem like someone you and your loved one will get along with?
  • Can the caregiver provide you with references from past clients?

This last point is especially important. Make sure you find someone who has plenty of satisfied clients who are willing to vouch for them.

Residential Care Criteria

If you're looking for an adult daycare or a residential care facility (such as an assisted living facility or nursing home), you'll need to think about these additional factors:

  • Can they meet your loved one's basic needs?
  • Do they have medical professionals available at all times?
  • Do they offer additional types of care like senior coaching or counseling?
  • How much does the treatment cost?
  • Does your loved one's insurance cover the cost of treatment?
  • What do others have to say about the quality of care offered?

Again, pay attention to what other people are saying. Look up reviews online or talk to other residents to see if they have a positive view of the facility or service you're considering.

Get Your Loved One the Dementia Care They Need 

Now that you know more about the importance of good nursing care of dementia patients, are you ready to start looking into hiring care for your loved one?

Whether you want to hire an in-home health aid or find a full-time assisted living facility or nursing home, the information in this article will help you ensure you're choosing the right option.

Do you want to learn more about caring for seniors with dementia? Do you want to stay informed about the latest medical advancements?

If so, check out the senior health-related articles on our site today.