Vida Healthcare Calls for Earlier Conversations on Dementia Care

A new study reveals that more than half of the British public regrets not discussing care home options sooner with their aging relatives.

  • 57 percent said they waited to move a loved one into a care home until after a health crisis
  • 75 percent said that having the conversation about moving into care was very difficult
  • 43 percent admitted to lying to loved ones during the process

The UK’s leading dementia care provider, Vida Healthcare, is advocating for a shift in how care for the elderly is perceived, following research that shows a prevalent hesitance to seek help until a crisis point. The study indicates substantial confusion about the available care types: 23% of adults don’t understand what encompasses residential care, 24% are unsure about nursing care, 28% don’t grasp what dementia care involves, and 31% are unclear about social or respite care.

This lack of understanding often causes families to delay essential conversations about care, which only complicates the decision-making process later. Additionally, the stigma surrounding care homes remains, with 20% holding a negative view.

Among those with family members in care, half reported that their loved ones resisted the idea, mainly due to attachment to their homes (47%), fear of losing independence (36%), and anxiety (33%). However, the actual experiences in care homes highlighted several positives, such as supportive staff (22%), enhanced care quality (21%), facilities exceeding expectations (21%), positive surprises about the environment (15%), and outstanding specialist care (12%).

James Rycroft, Managing Director of Vida Healthcare, states the necessity of changing perceptions: “Moving a loved one into a care home can be difficult for all involved. By the time someone starts considering a care home, it’s likely their loved one may be in need of more care than what can be provided at home, and individuals may have come to a point where they can no-longer provide the care and support their loved one needs. Our research found that adults are often putting off conversations because of feelings of guilt – more than a third (36 percent) of UK adults that we spoke to admitted to avoiding the conversation of moving a loved one into care as they felt guilty about doing so, a stigma that we’re dedicated to challenging and changing. It’s important to accept that you are human and there is only so much you can do – an individual cannot provide the level of care that a dedicated care home can.”

Reverend Bob Kirby shares his poignant experience with his wife, Jan, underscoring the gradual, challenging progression of her Alzheimer’s: “Jan and I never made promises we couldn’t keep and we were realistic in our expectations about going into care if needed.” Their transition to Vida Healthcare marked a turning point in managing her care needs effectively.

Vida Healthcare highlights several key reassurances for families facing similar decisions:

  • You can’t provide the level of care that a care facility does
  • You haven’t failed a family member by not keeping them at home with you
  • You should prepare more and talk about options earlier
  • You and your loved one will feel safer
  • Plan the move and make it as smooth as possible

James adds: “Family members of people living with dementia and other conditions that mean they need to move into a care home shouldn’t feel like they have failed their loved one by not keeping them at home with them. On the contrary, being supported by a care provider can ensure that yourself and your loved one are cared for in a respectful and dignified way, that allows independence to be maintained as much as possible, all the while helping to improve your loved one’s wellbeing and quality of life.”

For more information on the comprehensive care services offered by Vida Healthcare, please visit