The truth is, many seniors suffering from dementia continue to live at home. According to CIHI analysis, 61 per cent of seniors with dementia continue to live at home and require a great deal of support.
There are approximately 5.8 million seniors in Canada, with approximately 5.5 million living at home. CIHI analysis found that an estimated 431,00 seniors were living with dementia between 2015 and 2016, and more than 261,000 were estimated to reside outside of publicly funded long-term care or nursing homes.
However, as dementia continues to progress, seniors may be required to move to long-term care facilities (such as government-funded facilities or nursing homes) if they can no longer be supported at home. About one-third of seniors younger than 80 who have been diagnosed with dementia live in long-term care homes, according to CIHI. The proportion increases to 42 per cent for those older than 80.
Bhaktraj Singh, an entrepreneur, and CEO of the development company Hazelton Group, is looking to build more long-term care facilities for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. This stems from a long-time passion for supporting the aging communities of Ontario, that are without doubt in dire need of long-term care.
“Instances of Alzheimer’s and dementia are increasing, which means we need more options for care going forward,” says Singh. “Both myself and the company I lead, Adora, have plans to begin construction of these care homes in the Burlington, Ontario area.”
The challenges of caring for seniors with dementia in long-term care
Within long-term care homes, 69% of residents had dementia between 2015 and 2016, according to CIHI. The proportion of those having any form of cognitive impairment (ranging from dementia to stroke or trauma) was 87 per cent. It can be very challenging to provide care for these residents in long-term care facilities.
“At the end of the day, proper education and training are what leads to the success of long-term care facilities,” says Bhaktraj Singh. “There is a lot of misconception about dementia and Alzheimer’s, and it’s our responsibility as the public to make sure we understand and hold professionals to the standards of care that our families deserve.”
When is it time to consider long-term care?
As we consider caregiving options, it’s important to try and be flexible. Bear in mind the needs of the person in need of care. No one should have to consider care all alone. Moving an individual in need of care into a permanent care residence can inspire a lot of emotions in the caregiver: such as sadness, relief, guilt, or perhaps even second thoughts. It doesn’t mean that the role of the caregiver is any less important. It’s important for caregivers transitioning their loved ones into long-term care, it’s important to connect with friends, family, doctors, and caregiver support if any help is required during the transition.
“The reason we want to create more facilities for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients is so both the individual and their loved ones will have the support that they need,” says Singh. “Preparing for the future is an important aspect of ensuring the best quality of care.”