Why Patients with Dementia Thrive in a Family Home Setting

Published on October 4, 2023

Updated on November 13, 2023

As an experienced hospice registered nurse case manager specializing in compassionate end-of-life care, I've had the privilege of working closely with terminally ill patients, including those battling dementia. Through years of dedicated service, I've observed a significant difference in the well-being and quality of life for dementia patients in family home settings versus facility-based care. In this article, we'll explore the reasons why patients with dementia often experience better outcomes in the comfort of a family home.

Tailored Interaction and Personalized Care

1. One-to-One Interaction

In a family home, dementia patients benefit from increased one-to-one interaction. Family members, friends, or hired caregivers engage with the patient on a personal level. This tailored approach to caregiving allows patients to feel valued and connected, even when they are not the center of attention. It fosters a sense of belonging and emotional well-being, which can significantly slow the progression of the disease.

2. Advocacy and Reporting

Families play a crucial role as advocates for their loved ones. They are intimately familiar with their family member's needs and preferences. When it comes to healthcare, families can directly communicate with healthcare providers, whether it's during doctor visits, home health care, or . This direct line of communication ensures that the patient's needs are met promptly and effectively.

3. Medication Management

In a family home setting, families have more control over medication management. Medications are often administered in a timelier manner because families are actively involved in the process. This timely administration can help manage symptoms and improve the overall comfort of the patient.

Challenges in Facility-Based Care

While family home settings offer numerous advantages, facility-based care for dementia patients presents unique challenges that can contribute to a faster decline in health.

1. Decreased Stimulation

Many facilities have a centralized approach to care for dementia patients. Due to staffing limitations, patients are often placed in central areas where a single staff member must monitor multiple individuals. This lack of personal attention can lead to decreased stimulation and social isolation, accelerating cognitive decline.

2. Staffing Issues

Staff turnover and inadequate staffing levels are common issues in healthcare facilities. Unless a facility is exceptional, staff members may struggle to provide consistent care and timely reporting of changes in a patient's condition to healthcare providers, including hospice teams. This can result in delays in addressing the patient's evolving needs.

3. Limited Medication Control

In facility-based care, the facility provider controls the administration of medications. The timing of medication delivery may be influenced by factors such as the location of the patient's room and the nurse's availability. This lack of control can impact the patient's comfort and symptom management.

Conclusion

In conclusion, patients with dementia often experience better outcomes in family home settings due to the personalized care, advocacy, and timely medication management provided by family members and caregivers. While some facilities excel in , many face challenges such as decreased stimulation, staffing issues, and limited medication control, which can contribute to a faster decline in patients' health. It's crucial to consider the unique needs of each patient and their family when making decisions about settings.

Resources

Alzheimer's Association – Care at Home

Choosing the Right Long-Term Care Facility

The Importance of Caregiver Journaling

Reporting Changes of Condition to Hospice

My Loved One with Dementia

Understanding Dementia (Alzheimer's & Vascular & Frontotemporal & Lewy Body Dementia) (Video)

How Do I Know Which Dementia I'm Looking At? (Video)

Dementia Training material (Free)

Promoting Meaningful Relationships with Dementia Patients through Validation Therapy

Unlocking the Power of Validation Therapy in Compassionate End-of-Life Care

Validation Therapy: A Valuable Tool for Families and Healthcare Teams

Best Practices for Approaching Combative Dementia Patients

The Validation Breakthrough: Simple Techniques for Communicating with People with Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias

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How Do I Know You? Dementia at the End of Life

The Dementia Caregiver: A Guide to Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's Disease and Other Neurocognitive Disorders (Guides to Caregiving)

Sundown Dementia, Vascular Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia Explained

The Caregiver's Guide to Dementia: Practical Advice for Caring for Yourself and Your Loved One (Caregiver's Guides)

Ahead of Dementia: A Real-World, Upfront, Straightforward, Step-by-Step Guide for Family Caregivers

The Dementia Caregiver's Survival Guide: An 11-Step Plan to Understand the Disease and How To Cope with Financial Challenges, Patient Aggression, and Depression Without Guilt, Overwhelm, or Burnout

Dementia Care Companion: The Complete Handbook of Practical Care from Early to Late Stage

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The amount generated from these “qualifying purchases” helps to maintain this site.

The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias

Dementia Home Care: How to Prepare Before, During, and After

The Dementia Caregiver's Survival Guide: An 11-Step Plan to Understand the Disease and How To Cope with Financial Challenges, Patient Aggression, and Depression Without Guilt, Overwhelm, or Burnout

Dementia Caregiving: A Self Help Book for Dementia Caregivers Offering Practical Coping Strategies and Support to Overcome Burnout, Increase Awareness, and Build Mental & Emotional Resilience

Navigating the Dementia Journey: A Compassionate Guide to Understanding, Supporting, and Living With Dementia

Ahead of Dementia: A Real-World, Upfront, Straightforward, Step-by-Step Guide for Family Caregivers

Four Common Mistakes by Caregivers of loved ones with Dementia and what do differently (video)

Eldercare Locator: a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The amount generated from these “qualifying purchases” helps to maintain this site.

My Aging Parent Needs Help!: 7 Step Guide to Caregiving with No Regrets, More Compassion, and Going from Overwhelmed to Organized [Includes Tips for Caregiver Burnout]

Take Back Your Life: A Caregiver's Guide to Finding Freedom in the Midst of Overwhelm

The Conscious Caregiver: A Mindful Approach to Caring for Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself

Dear Caregiver, It's Your Life Too: 71 Self-Care Tips To Manage Stress, Avoid Burnout And Find Joy Again While Caring For A Loved One

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved

The Art of Dying

Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying

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