Dementia: Frequently Asked Questions
When should a person with dementia move into a residential aged care facility?
A residential aged care facility is suitable for eligible persons who are:
- Older and can no longer live independently at home or
- Are younger and have a disability, dementia or other specialist care need
The decision of when to move into a residential aged care facility it different for each individual and their family. When considering this decision is can be useful to:
- Have decision making and planning conversations early to allow the person with dementia to have as much input and autonomy over the decisions related to their accommodation and care as possible. The decision to accept a placement in an aged care facility often needs to be made quickly. Having difficult conversations early can reduce the distress experienced when needing to make these decisions.
- It can also be useful to discuss these decisions with:
- Your GP
- Other family members and carers
- Specialist service such as Dementia Australia
When do I address legal matters?
Whenever possible it is best to have discussions regarding matters such as finance, ongoing health care and end of life decisions early in a person’s journey with dementia while they have capacity to consent and to communicate their thoughts. This will allow the person with dementia to be a part of the decision-making process and allow their wishes and preferences to be expressed so they can be respected into the future.
For additional information, Dementia Australia’s resource, Dementia and your legal rights is recommended.
Emotions and Dementia
While dealing with dementia both the person experiencing dementia and those caring for them may experience many different feelings over the course of their relationship with the disease. Common and completely normal emotions often experienced include:
- Guilt: Carer’s may experience guilt for not being able to care for their loved one with dementia themselves or my feel guilty for expressing embarrassment in response to their loved ones behaviour associated with dementia. A person with dementia may also experience guilt because of having to rely on a loved one for continual support and assistance or experience guilt as a result of their behaviour towards a loved one.
- Grief and loss: Both individuals with dementia and their carer’s can experience grief in response to the loss or change in their relationship, the loss of their planned futures together or changes in personality of the person with dementia. A person with dementia can experience grief in response to the loss of their independence, leaving behind their homes and possessions, loves ones and pets. Grief and loss can be an ongoing and
- Anger: Both the individual with dementia and their carer can experience anger in response to the person with dementia needing increasing assistance, losing their independence and freedom and their ability to engage with life as they once did.
- Alzheimer’s Society. (2020). Care home: When is the right time and who decides?
- Australian Government, My Aged Care. (2018). Steps to enter on aged care home. Publication Number 12203
- Dementia Australia. (2020). Deciding on residential care
- Dementia Australia. (2020). Your feelings
- Field, S and Cartwright, C. (2020). Dementia and your legal rights. Dementia Australia