A Dementia Case Study - Helping George* to remain living at home with his wife

This is one of a series of case studies we have developed to help inform potential clients about how we have supported clients and to provide some insight into the range of support we offer. 

George was a retired tea taster who had worked in many countries before retiring and settling in an apartment in Lee on Solent with his wife who he had met on a world cruise.

George had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2010 and was in remission from bowel cancer.

Initially George was only compromised by his dementia through short term memory loss and occasional issues with his balance.

We were initially commissioned to provide companionship support to George for 4 hours once a week to offer his wife a respite break from her caring responsibilities.

The companionship calls were focused on encouraging George to be remain active and engage socially outside his home. This included short walks, attending our local Memory Cafe and other social interaction.

Over time George's mobility further declined and this combined with his compromised balance made a daily shower routine problematic for his wife to manage.

We increased support to George to reflect his changed needs and established a daily routine for support to him to shower, shave and dress.

Over time George's ability to mobilise safely around his home further declined and it was necessary to ensure he was monitored at all times when moving around to keep him safe from falls.

George's wife and family realised that he was in continuous decline and that his care needs would increase but were determined that he should remain living at home.

They felt that a move to a residential setting would have a detrimental impact on his well being and remaining at home with support was the best option for him.

Support was then increased to 5 hours a day from morning until early afternoon to offer his wife respite from her 24 hour caring responsibilities and to ensure George was safe.

As time progressed George's wife found the daily challenges of caring and supporting him increasingly emotionally and physically demanding.

We suggested to her that we could provide increased cover for short periods of time to afford her the opportunity to take a break away from home.

We then established a six weekly schedule that allowed George's wife to go away and stay with friends for 36 hours. During these periods we provided enhanced day time support and an over night sleep in service.

After nearly 3 years of support at home George went into terminal decline and was supported at home by his wife, caregiver team and the palliative care team before passing away.

George's wife commented on the support we provided in a letter as follows:

"Once again I would like to thank everyone associated with Home instead for their support and care over the past years.

I could not have cared for George at home without it.

The last thing I wanted was for George to be anywhere but at home where he was content and in familiar surroundings."

The care and support George received was a real partnership with his wife. Although the care we delivered was focused on George's specific needs the relationship that the team built was as important to his wife and offered her crucial emotional and companionship support especially as time progressed.


A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home