How should dementia care be provided in the home?

The Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU), at The University of Manchester, has been funded to research ways to improve dementia home care and really need your help. Please do read on.

The PSSRU received this funding from the National Institute for Health Research. As part of this funding, the PSSRU has been doing a large trial on memory aids and calculating how much family carers contribute towards dementia home care. In addition, the PSSRU are doing a national survey on carer preferences on home care services, and in particular dementia, (http://sites.nursing.manchester.ac.uk/pssru/research/DementiaHomeCare) and would like your help.

The realities of dementia care

About two thirds of people with dementia live at home. To delay the requirement, or need, for going in to a nursing home, family carers contribute a great deal of their time to support family members needing care. In some cases, family carers need some support from outside agencies, and have paid home carers to come in and support them. Other times, they use respite care services to take some time off from their caring duties and recharge their batteries.

In the later stages of caring for someone with dementia, it can often become stressful, as the person with dementia displays a greater and more intense set of symptoms. For example:

1) people struggle performing activities of daily living, such as preparing a meal or dressing,  – Here is a link to a journal on this topic –


2) have more behavioural problems such as agitation or sleeping problems – (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020748915000590),

3) have severe problems with their memory and cognition – (http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/25730300).

How you can help – Tell the PSSRU how home care for dementia is best provided

That’s why home care services, for people with dementia, needs to be targeted to the individual’s needs. The home care provided also needs to take into account the preferences of the family carers, who already give up a lot of their personal time to provide care services.

That’s why the PSSRU have designed a survey, which allows family carers from England to choose between two options of home care packages.

For some carers, respite might be more important, whereas for other meals-on-wheels for their relative with dementia might be more beneficial. We want to hear from you about what you care about the most, so that we can feed this back to decision makers to hopefully make some difference!

If you are looking for more information on dementia, please visit the section on dementia care on UK Care Guide.  

What you need to do next

If you care for a relative with dementia, live in England and want to share your opinions, please email clarissa.giebel@manchester.ac.uk.

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