Service and facility profiles

Dementia group living / assisted living

Who is it for?
  • People with mild to moderate dementia
What is the concept?
  • An alternative to traditional long-term care for people with dementia
  • Individuals live in a private or shared apartment with staff available to provide assistance 24 hours per day
  • It enables maintaining autonomy and also provides support for instrumental activities of daily living
  • Social activities are often offered, dining halls where residents can have meals together are available and support is provided in various needs (e.g. for transport for physician appointment etc.)
  • People with dementia maintain their independence and privacy
  • Yet they receive support from social and medical staff
  • Safety is more ensured than when living at home alone
  • Not all assisted living facilities offer services specifically designed for people with dementia
  • It is important to address this issue when deciding

Day centres

Who is it for?
  • People with mild to moderate dementia
What is the concept?
  • People with dementia are provided with a structured programme for several hours a day (usually 8 hours)
  • Staff includes a team of medical and social professionals who provide specific care for people with dementia
  • Activities at the day centre focus on non-pharmacological therapies including cognitive games, physical exercise, gardening, cooking, painting, reading, singing and dancing
  • Activities are provided based on individual assessment and delivered mostly in small groups
  • Lunch and other meals are served
  • People with dementia visit this king of facility for an average of 3-5 years
  • Day centres are usually visited by 10-20 people per da
  • Day care programmes are cost-effective alternatives to nursing home care and may delay institutionalisation
  • People with dementia can socialise with others
  • Development of a daily or weekly routine
  • Participation in joint activities, non-pharmacological interventions
  • Monitoring of health conditions (e.g. blood pressure, medicine intake)
  • Enables carers to share caregiving responsibilities while continuing employment
  • Transport from the person’s home to the day care centre may need to be organised
  • Most day care centres need to be paid out of pocket

Special care units

Who is it for?
  • People with moderate to advanced dementia
What is the concept?
  • An option for people with dementia who require a higher level of professional care and supervision
  • Combination of private and shared living spaces
  • Often exist as a unit within an assisted living facility but may also operate as a standalone facility
  • Especially designed for people with dementia in terms of security and safety through locking systems and signposting
  • 24-hour supervision
  • Staff is trained to care for the specific needs of people with moderate to advanced dementia including the management of behavioural and psychological symptoms
  • In comparison to assisted living more intensive supervision and more dementia-specific activities are provided
  • 24-hour intensive care
  • Approach specialised for dementia to enhance quality of life
  • Tailored to the needs of people at more advances stages of dementia
  • Independence of people with dementia needs to be maintained as long as possible
  • Privacy issues

Respite care

Who is it for?
  • People with dementia who are cared for at home
What is the concept?
  • Provides a temporary break from caregiving
  • Can be provided by a friend, other family member, or volunteer
  • May include companion services, supervision of activities, personal care (e.g. assistance with dressing), help with laundry, shopping and cooking, help with medications
  • Can be provided as a paid service by a facility (day care centre, residential facility)
  • Provides caregiver with an opportunity to unwind and take care of personal duties
  • Provides the person with dementia with an opportunity to meet with peers, share experiences and participate in activities
  • People with dementia may be sensitive to changes in the environment

Mobile nursing teams

Who is it for?
  • People in home care in various stages of dementia
What is the concept?
  • Professional carers visit a person with dementia at home
  • Mobile nursing teams provide skilled care including wound care or injections by a licensed health professional
  • The range of services may be individual. Some teams provide help with personal care and assist with bathing, dressing, toileting, eating or exercising
  • Nursing teams may be connected to homemaker services
  • The number of hours during which care is provided depends on the condition of the person with dementia and the capabilities of the carer
  • Preserves independence and autonomy
  • May delay institutionalisation
  • Support of people with dementia with burdensome activities
  • Maintenance of previous interests and social ties
  • Finding the appropriate people that the person with dementia and the family trusts can be a challenge
  • Safety issues around the home need to be considered

Palliative care

Who is it for?
  • People in the final months or weeks of life
What is the concept?
  • Provides special care for people who are terminally ill
  • By a team of trained staff including physicians, nurses, home health aides, social workers, counsellors or volunteers
  • Interventions include medical care to alleviate symptoms and pain, counselling the emotional and spiritual issues at the end of life, respite care to relieve carers
  • Interventions focus on comfort rather than cure
  • Provides support for the family (e.g. grief counselling) and involves the family in care
  • Usually provided at home or in a nursing home; there are also standalone palliative facilities and palliative units in hospitals
  • Pain management
  • Interprofessional support also addresses emotional and spiritual needs, including carers
  • Setting of care needs to be considered (in the home or in an institution)