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dementia care home surrey
18th May

How to Choose the Right Dementia Care Home for your Loved One

When the difficult decision of moving your loved one into a dementia care home has to be made, it can be very challenging for all involved. Family members can often feel guilty from passing on the care of loved ones to someone else. It is therefore crucial that the home you do choose is the right one.

Further challenges are brought into consideration when your loved one is living with dementia. There is often extra confusion and greater difficulty in explaining to your loved one why they will have to leave their home.

Luckily, our team at the Huntington and Langham Estate in Hindhead, Surrey have over 40 years of experience when it comes to this matter. And we will work with you to ensure a smooth transition into our care environment. Our home at Langham Court embraces our motto and we will do everything we can to support you, so all you have to do is “let our family look after yours’.

The Butterfly Model of care we embrace takes a very person-centric focus, putting your loved one’s emotional and physical needs at the forefront of everything we do.

Below are some of the considerations we suggest you bare in mind when choosing the right dementia care home for your loved one.

Involving all those who care is key



The move into a care home can be a very daunting prospect for all family members. From the person in question, to their primary caregiver, be it a daughter, son or other family member, to the more external members of your family who may be providing support and love from slightly further afar.

It is important to ensure that everyone feels involved in the decision making process, even if that just means communicating with them in a more in-depth manner about the steps along the way.

Easing those feelings of guilt that we have often seen families struck with can be quite challenging, however our team is here to help at every step of the way. Third party bodies and charities can also provide support at this stage, such as Dementia UK who offer free impartial advice and support to all family members in scenarios just like this.

When is the right time to move into a care home?



Finding the right time to move into a care home is never easy. Is it too soon? Is my loved one emotionally ready to move? Will there be ramifications if you leave it too late? These are all very important questions that you need to consult your family/caregiving circle on.

The need to move into a care home could have arisen from a number of reasons; deterioration of their condition, resulting in it being harder for them to live independently, a change in circumstance meaning the primary caregiver is no longer able to commit as much time into looking after their loved one, there could be many reasons, and many combinations of reasons for seeking a dementia care home for your family member. Regardless of the ‘whys’ and the ‘whens’, it is still a difficult decision for anyone to have to make.

From our experience, considering the move into a care home should be thought of as far in advance as possible. And often, we have found that if your loved one moves before their condition has deteriorated too greatly, it makes the move that much easier. It could start with a day or two, visiting the home, an introduction via respite care or daycare, or just a quick chat on the phone with one of the Huntington and Langham team to find out a little more. 

How to find the right care home



Once you’ve decided that moving into a care home is the next stage for your loved one living with dementia, and all family members are onboard with the transition, the next step is to begin the search for the right home.

Again, third party resources such as Age UK are fantastic for providing impartial advice. They have a plethora of guides on a range of issues and  provide excellent information and insight into selecting a home, along with a handy checklist you can download and use too.

The Care Quality Commission is an independent regulator of health and social care in England. They register, monitor and regularly audit homes up and down the country to provide an easy to understand rating. We are completely transparent, and proud of our ‘GOOD’ rating, received in August 2019. You can view the CQC report for Langham Court here.

At the Huntington and Langham Estate in Surrey, we embrace the more homely aspects at our care home. We want to create an environment where you feel as comfortable as you would in your current home. Our home was built by family, for families and we very much want to extend ours to yours for anyone joining us on the estate.

If you’d like to learn a little bit more about what we do, just drop us a line here, or learn more about our dementia care offering here
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29th August

Dementia friendly activities for you and your loved one

As a progressive condition, over time dementia can reduce a person’s ability to engage in mentally stimulating tasks. Although this is, in part, a result of the brain’s inability to retain information, it can be frustrating for the individual to come to terms with. There are, however, activities that you can engage in with your loved one that are less mentally challenging, instead stimulating internal feelings and senses that can work equally well to promote feelings of satisfaction and achievement.

 

Activities you engage in with your loved one should, ideally, encourage them to reflect on their life, promote emotional connections and help to prevent feelings of anxiety and depression.

 

Physical activity

One of the simplest yet effective ways to improve mental wellbeing is by engaging in gentle exercise. Encourage your loved one to take regular strolls around the local neighbourhood or try out a new practise, such as yoga. These can really help to clear the mind, not only promoting feelings of positivity but also making daily challenges that little bit easier to cope with.

 

Water aerobics or swimming are also great activities to try, with some fitness centres offering sessions designed specifically for those with limited cognitive abilities.

 

Cooking and/or baking

Working to stimulate the senses, cooking and baking allow us to use our senses of smell and taste, activating different areas of the brain. Not only does cooking allow the individual to bring a recipe to life, but you also have something tangible – and edible – to enjoy at the end.

 

If your loved one is struggling to follow a recipe, try taking the reins, feeding them the instructions slowly. It also might be a good idea for you to take on the more difficult tasks, allowing your loved one to enjoy the more simple, fun aspects of cooking.

 

Exploring your surrounding nature

As humans, we’re instinctively attracted to nature and, of course, there is a reason for this. We naturally thrive in the outdoors and the mere intake of fresh air, as well as the scent of foliage can stimulate feelings of peace, restoring internal equilibrium. There are numerous ways you can encourage your loved one to connect with nature – whether that’s simply taking a stroll through a botanical garden, surrounding them with wildlife or doing some gardening.

 

Arts and crafts

Encouraging your loved one to pick up a paintbrush can really help to unleash their creativity. Engaging in arts and crafts can help them to develop their fine motor skills and they might even pick up a new hobby. If your loved one doesn’t enjoy painting, try and persuade them to take up knitting or drawing.

 

Animal therapy

Being surrounded by animals has been shown to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, promoting mental wellbeing and the production of feel-good hormones. If you don’t own a pet yourself, try asking a friend to bring their furry companion to your home, or take your loved one to a local farm to spend time with small animals. Alternatively, you could undertake some research into local animal therapy services.

 

Just because your loved one is suffering with dementia doesn’t mean they have to miss out on fun activities that you can enjoy together. At the Huntington and Langham Estate, we like to make activities an integral part of daily life. To find out more about our care, click here.

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