A respite break can often be the result of reaching breaking point as a carer, especially when a carer is a family member and not a professional.
However the positives of respite care for all concerned can far outreach the negative feelings of stress, guilt, and even the thought of letting your loved one down.
Letting go of the emotions when your loved one is in need of care, and trusting in the experts, is sometimes a huge leap of faith to take. But one couple are living proof it has transformed their lives for the better.
An elderly married couple in their late eighties had managed to maintain living in their own home harmoniously and independently until the early stages of dementia gradually took hold of the wife. As many couples do, the husband took on the role of carer. However when the husband was taken to hospital it exposed his wife’s lack of capacity to be able to look after herself safely – respite care was required urgently.
Lyselle Tart, home manager at Belmont Healthcare, Sandbanks Lodge says: “It was clear to see on the day of her arrival that she was anxious and very withdrawn. Not surprising considering her longterm carer, her husband, was in hospital and she couldn’t stay in her own home due to her developing dementia.
“Any transistion of this kind requires managing correctly. We are trained to deal with these very stressful instances and didn’t leave her side until she felt comfortable with us and her surroundings. We were able to work very closely with her family who helped us greatly in aiding that transisition.
“The main concern was to see if we could encourage her to engage with us and the wider community of Sandbanks Lodge. It had become clear that as a coping mechanism her husband had gradullay withdrawn from community life prefering to stay indors where it was easier for him to care for his wife. Unfortunately the impact of this had meant his wife had completely withdrawn due to the isolation.”
Specialists in working with people with dementia, staff at Sandbanks Lodge were aware that withdrawn behaviour isn’t always due to dementia but more likely the symptoms of social isolation, so set about a plan of social engagement within the care home.
From these small steps it wasn’t long before she was fully engaged in home activity.
Lyselle continues: “The engagement plan really worked. It wasn’t long before she was taking part in our many activities, especially visiting our day centre. More importantly she made friends with the other residents, this was a major breakthrough. She became very close to another lady, they just hit it off with each other. The transformation is quite remarkable, she is now an incredibly bubbly, confident and helpful person, she’s loving life.
“From this short respite stay she is now a full time resident with us. Her husband couldn’t return home but is now in a care home just down the road specific for his care needs. The couple visit each other regularly and are very happy to do so, it’s the perfect solution, and both are receiving the dedicated care they both deserve.”
Belmont Healthcare really understands the challenges people with dementia face and the decisions their families have to make too. Trusting in the right care, delivered by experienced professionals, can greatly improve the quality of life of an individual with dementia.
As specialists within Dementia the Belmont Healthcare team of professionals are highly experienced in providing dementia care and 24 hour support to those suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, confusion and other similar conditions. They pride themselves on providing a warm and loving home in an environment that is stimulating yet peaceful and dignified managed with genuine care and concern.