When Dementia Patients Refuse to Go into Care

 In Blog, Dementia Care

Caring for a loved one with dementia is a journey filled with emotional and practical challenges. One of the hardest decisions families face is whether to move their loved one into a care home.

What happens when a loved one tries to refuse a move into care? It’s a common scenario that can leave families feeling helpless and overwhelmed. In this guide, we will explore strategies to navigate this delicate situation with empathy and understanding.

Understanding Their Perspective

Dementia affects people’s memory, thinking, and behaviour, making it difficult for those affected to understand or accept their need for additional care. It’s essential to put yourself in their shoes and consider what they might be feeling:

  • Fear of the Unknown: Moving to a new environment can be frightening, especially when cognitive function is impaired.
  • Loss of Independence: The idea of leaving their home and losing control over their daily life can be distressing.
  • Confusion and Anxiety: Changes in routine can increase confusion and anxiety, making the transition seem even more daunting.

Tips for moving someone with dementia

When discussing the possibility of moving to a care home, clear and compassionate communication is key. Here are some tips:

Choose the Right Time and Place

  • Calm Environment: Find a quiet, comfortable place free from distractions.
  • Good Timing: Choose a time when your loved one is most relaxed and receptive.

Approach the Conversation Gently

  • Use Simple Language: Avoid overwhelming your loved one with complex information and ensure you are clear in how you present the change.
  • Be Patient: Allow your loved one time to express their fears and concerns without rushing them into agreeing with your point of view.
  • Reassure and Empathise: Let your loved one know that their feelings are valid and that you are there to support them.

Involve Them in the Decision

  • Visit Care Homes Together: If possible, take them to visit different dementia care homes to help them feel more involved in the decision-making process.
  • Offer Choices: Give them options about small details, such as room choices, room decoration or daily routines, to help them feel more in control.

Strategies to Ease the Transition

If your loved one continues to resist the idea of moving into a care home, here are some strategies to consider:

Gradual Introduction

  • Day Care Services: Enrol your loved one in a day care program to help them get used to a care home setting at the staff.
  • Short Stays: Take it a step further and arrange short-term respite care stays to familiarise them with the care home. These stays are usually bookable for a week upwards.

Seek Professional Help

  • Medical Advice: Consult your loved one’s doctor for advice on managing their condition and understanding their specific needs.
  • Elderly Care Specialists: Discuss your situation with a social worker or elderly care manager who can provide guidance and support.

Create a Sense of Continuity

  • Familiar Items: Once in a dementia care home, bring your loved one’s personal belongings, such as photos, favourite books, or blankets, to make their new space feel more like home. Some care homes even let you bring furniture.
  • Consistent Visits: You should maintain regular visits to provide reassurance and continuity.

Dealing with Emotional Reactions

It’s normal for both you and your loved one to experience a range of emotions, such as guilt during this transition into a care home. Here are some coping strategies:

For Your Loved One

  • Validation: You should try to acknowledge their feelings and provide comfort every step of the way.
  • Engagement: Encourage participation in social activities and hobbies to foster a sense of belonging in your loved one’s new home.

For Yourself

  • Seek Support: Join a support group for families of dementia patients to share experiences and advice.
  • Practice Self-Care: Take time for yourself to recharge and manage stress.

Moving Forward with Love and Care

Moving a loved one with dementia into a care home is never easy, especially when they resist the change. Remember, your decision comes from a place of love and a desire to ensure their safety and well-being. 

By approaching the situation with empathy, patience, and open communication, you can help make the transition smoother for both of you.

At Lidder Care, we understand the complexities of this journey and are here to support you every step of the way. Our compassionate staff and welcoming environment are dedicated to providing the best care for your loved one while respecting their dignity and individuality.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, contact our team of care experts today.