Supporting a person with dementia

Supporting a person with dementia

It can be challenging when a person close to you is diagnosed with Dementia. They may act differently or not seem like the person you used to know. You may not feel like you can interact with them in the same way you used to and may feel a little awkward.

Try to remember that it is also a very hard time for the person with Dementia and that while they may seem different at times, they are still the same person you love.

“I am still me”

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Here are some practical ways you can support a person with dementia

  • Try your best to interact with them in the same way that you always have, (e.g. do you usually joke and tease each other? How do you usually greet each other? with a hug or a handshake?)
  • Tell them your name every time. You may also need to add a bit more detail for them E.g. “Joe from Rotary” or “Sarah, Jan’s daughter”
  • Spend some time with them doing things they enjoy. You may need to bring something with you that you can do together like a puzzle or some plants for the garden.
  • Chat, chat, chat. Reminisce about old times, share stories and listen to their stories, even if you have to listen to the same story several times.
  • Rather than asking them questions, make statements or share ideas, and offer time for them to process their thoughts and respond.
  • Take a quick look around the house and see if there is anything you could do to help. Could you do some shopping for them, change a light bulb, mow the lawn or make their bed.
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