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‘Stop Waiting Until Care Crisis Point’ Urges Dementia Care Provider

New research has revealed that more than half of Brits regret waiting until the last minute to discuss care homes with loved ones.

• 57 percent said they waited to move a loved one into a care home until after a health crisis
• 75 percent said that having the conversation about moving into care was very difficult
• 43 percent admitted to lying to loved ones during the process

The study by dementia care provider, Vida Healthcare, highlights the uncertainty around the different types of care available within the UK, with many Brits admitting to not knowing what different types of care involve. Almost a quarter (23 percent) of UK adults aren’t confident that they know what residential care is, 24 percent aren’t sure what nursing care is, more than a quarter (28 percent) aren’t confident they know what dementia care is, while almost a third (31 percent) don’t know what social care or respite care involve.

This lack of understanding and reluctance to discuss care options with family members often results in families delaying the inevitable – the research has revealed that more than half (57 percent) of UK adults have waited until crisis point before seeking expert care and support for their loved one. This can then make the process more difficult for families as they try to avoid the tricky conversations and difficult decisions.

Another contributing factor to people avoiding conversations around a loved one’s care is the perceptions of care homes in the UK – a fifth (20 percent) of those surveyed said their perceptions of care homes were negative.

Of adults who currently have or have previously had loved ones in care, 50 percent said their family member was resistant to moving into a care home. The resistance is due to several factors including missing their own home (47 percent), losing independence (36 percent) and being anxious (33 percent).

However, those who have had loved ones in care felt very differently. Supportive staff (22 percent), having better care (21 percent), nicer facilities than first thought (21 percent), surprise at how nice it was (15 percent) and fantastic specialist care (12 percent) are just some of the top positives cited once a loved one was in a care home.

Commenting on the results of the research, James Rycroft, Managing Director at Vida Healthcare, said he believes that it’s crucial there is a shift in the perception of care homes in the UK.

“Moving a loved one into a care home can be difficult for all involved. By the time someone starts considering a care home, it’s likely their loved one may be in need of more care than what can be provided at home, and individuals may have come to a point where they can no-longer provide the care and support their loved one needs.

“Our research found that adults are often putting off conversations because of feelings of guilt – more than a third (36 percent) of UK adults that we spoke to admitted to avoiding the conversation of moving a loved one into care as they felt guilty about doing so, a stigma that we’re dedicated to challenging and changing. It’s important to accept that you are human and there is only so much you can do – an individual cannot provide the level of care that a dedicated care home can.”

The research from Vida Healthcare also reveals what people have learnt from the process of enlisting specialist care and support, in hopes to help others.

The top five reassurances include:

• You can’t provide the level of care that a care facility does
• You haven’t failed a family member by not keeping them at home with you
• You should prepare more and talk about options earlier
• You and your loved one will feel safer
• Plan the move and make it as smooth as possible

James added: “Family members of people living with dementia and other conditions that mean they need to move into a care home shouldn’t feel like they have failed their loved one by not keeping them at home with them. On the contrary, being supported by a care provider can ensure that yourself and your loved one are cared for in a respectful and dignified way, that allows independence to be maintained as much as possible, all the while helping to improve your loved one’s wellbeing and quality of life.”

 

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