Dementia Care - Ensuring Henry could stay at home with his family*
Henry was a retired former Royal Navy officer and engineer who was diagnosed with dementia in his late 80’s.
He lived with his frail wife and daughter, Janet, who was the principal carer for both her parents. Janet had learning difficulties from a childhood illness and was finding caring for both parents increasingly stressful.
We were initially invited to provide companionship support for Henry to provide respite for Janet and to ensure Henry enjoyed activities that he was no unable to participate in unsupported.
These included trips out bird watching, visiting historical sites and walking at local country parks.
As Henry’s dementia progressed, he needed increasing support to manage his personal care needs.
We increased the level of care to include support for a morning routine to enable Henry to shower and shave every day.
Following a hospital admission Henry’s family were advised by other health care professionals to move him into a residential setting.
Henry did not settle in two different settings and was invited to leave both as his unpredictable behaviour was judged unmanageable in either home.
We met with the family at their invitation and developed a plan that would facilitate Henry returning home for a trial period with enhanced support to establish if his behaviour could be moderated and that he could live at home safely.
The other health care professionals involved with Henry did not believe this was achievable but reluctantly agreed to a trial.
We identified a small team who supported Henry intensively for some weeks and established routines that settled him back into home.
There were significant issues to overcome as Henry had no defined sleep pattern, would reject support with his personal care and was unable to recognize when he needed to use the toilet.
Over a period of weeks routines were established for Henry and he began to sleep through the night, accepted support for his personal care needs and was enabled to recognize his continence needs.
We also worked with Janet to coach her in the techniques she would benefit from adopting in providing support to her father when we were not present.
The combination of the support we provided to Henry and the coaching and practical support we provided to Janet led to a decision that Henry should remain at home.
Janet commented that she felt that she had reclaimed her father / daughter relationship with Henry and no longer viewed herself foremost as his carer.
Henry remained living at home until he was hospitalised and following a short illness passed.
We remain involved with Janet and her mother providing companionship support to enable Janet to continue singing in a local choir every week.
Mike – Henry's Godson and Power of Attorney - sent us a note on Henry's return home:
"Thank you for all you have done in helping Henry stay at home depsite the misgivings of others. It is lovely to see him settled back at home with Barbara and Janet."
We know how difficult it can be to source the right support for a loved one.
We hope this case study will give you an insight into how we can support clients to remain at home, the place they love best.
* Please note all names have been changed for reasons of confidentiality and the image is not of a real client.If you would like to discuss how we can help keep your loved one stay at home, the place they love best, please call us for an informal chat on 01329 282 469.