#CareAboutDementia - useful tips for everyone!

We thought that a good way to help improve the lives of those living with dementia would be to share tips and guidance from caring individuals with experience in dementia care:

#CareAboutDementia Tip 1: Speak to people living with dementia as you would normally do with any other person. Normal conversation can make them feel included and can help to bring up memories from their life.

#CareAboutDementia Tip 2: Don’t argue with a person living with dementia. Dementia can affect a person’s ability to reason and see both sides of an argument, so try to avoid this.

#CareAboutDementia Tip 3: Step into their reality - It may not always be appropriate, but at times, it may be better to ‘join’ their reality and accept what they are saying rather than causing unnecessary anxiety or upset.

#CareAboutDementia Tip 4: Understand how objects appear to them. Dementia can cause perception difficulties leading to misconceptions of reality, such as busy patterns confusing the eye or a dark patch on the floor looking like a hole. This tip can help you to understand their worries or confusion.

#CareAboutDementia Tip 5: Think about aids which might help memory. If mum forgets what day it is, a calendar clock can display the month, day, date and time and even the year. Labels with words or pictures around the house can be useful if a person forgets where items are.

#CareAboutDementia Tip 6: Ask why? People behave in different ways when they have a need. Dad may wring his hands when he needs the toilet or may frown when he’s in pain. Keep a check on these non-verbal signs to see what could be causing them.

#CareAboutDementia Tip 7: Offer choice to make decision making easier. Dementia can interfere with the decision-making process so instead of offering a multitude of choices, narrow it down. So rather than asking Mum what she wants for tea, ask if she’d prefer fish or chicken.

#CareAboutDementia Tip 8: Support people with their nutrition. Dementia may mean that a person can’t identify if they are hungry or thirsty. Rather than place a drink in front of them, give them a drink in their hand or say ‘Let’s have something to eat together’ to make it a companionable task.

#CareAboutDementia Tip 9: Help people to stay active and engaged. It could be playing a favourite puzzle or going for a walk at their favourite park. Appeal to their senses – for example music or the smell of a certain perfume can bring back happy memories and feelings. This helps to make people feel fulfilled.

#CareAboutDementia Tip 10: Treat a person with dementia like anybody else. Be patient with them and don’t rush them but remember that a person with dementia is still a person with emotions, desires and a life history.