Skip to main content

Supporting the independence of someone living with dementia as long as you can

Often when someone falls ill with a disease it doesn’t just impact them, it affects the whole family. With a dementia diagnosis this can be even more so due to the care required by loved ones to support someone living with dementia as their ability to care for themselves diminishes as the disease progresses.

For Eric Booth and his sister, their priority was to help their mother, Norma, live as independently as possible as long as possible. For 12 years, Norma lived on her own with dementia. As Eric will admit, it wasn’t easy but nothing important ever really is. “Dementia doesn’t stop someone from living on their own,” says Eric, “but you have to adapt to see if they’re able to live on their own.”

The family understood the value of her mother maintaining her independence throughout her dementia journey so worked diligently and creatively to adapt to her circumstances. ”As they change you as a caregiver have to react as well,” says Eric. What this looked like changed over time and included things such as installing cameras to monitor her safety, delivering meals to avoid her having to cook and laying out medicines for her every day.

Eric points out the importance of remembering the person: “You have to treat them like they’re still there,” he says. “Keeping her involved in the process made things easier…Trying to force things on someone living with dementia isn’t going to make them happy, which isn’t going to make you happy.”

Eventually, the risk of Norma living alone outweighed the benefit and they had to consider a retirement home for her. The trouble was that while she had a plan for her financial and health needs, she didn’t have anything articulated about the type of retirement home she wanted to live in, leaving Eric and his sister to discuss what they felt was the right environment for their mom.

With each having their own version of the ideal home for her they debated about the importance of room size vs. common spaces, cost vs. quality of care and the hundreds of other things to consider. Fortunately for them they found Richmond Care Home which ticked most of their boxes in terms of quality of care, affordable all-inclusive pricing, being an exclusive dementia care retirement home and being easily accessible.

Also, the fact that it was located close to Eric in Richmond, Ontario just 15 minutes from Kanata and 30 minutes from Ottawa, meant they could see her whenever they wanted.  Often for people caring for those living with dementia it can be a challenge to find a home for their loved one that offers them the same level of care they gave. One of the benefits of Richmond Care Home is that it’s a retirement home exclusively for women living with dementia that feels like a home.

What’s more, by the fact that it’s run by Carefor, a not for profit, the cost is much lower than other comparable memory care retirement homes.

For more information about Richmond Care Home visit our website.