How to Care for Someone Living With Dementia

How to Care for Someone Living With Dementia | HealthSoul

If you have a family member living with dementia, you probably know how challenging it is to care for them. Most dementia patients suffer from a progressive brain disorder that makes it hard for them to think clearly, remember things, take care of themselves, and communicate with others. Dementia can also change a person’s behavior and personality and cause mood swings. Below are effective ways to care for someone living with dementia.

Learn how to communicate with them

Communicating with a person with dementia can be difficult. As the disease progresses, it becomes harder for dementia patients to understand others, and they lose the ability to express themselves. Learning how to communicate with them makes caregiving easier and improves your relationship with a loved one. The following tips will help you communicate effectively with a dementia patient:

  • Use their name
  • Use the names of places and people
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Respond with assurance and affection
  • Ask simple, answerable questions
  • Have a sense of humor
  • One topic at a time
  • Maintain a relaxed body language
  • Speak calmly
  • Distract and redirect when the going gets tough

What you should not do:

  • Speak too fast
  • Use confusing language
  • Using abbreviations
  • Asking open-ended questions
  • Being impatient when you ask them questions
  • Speaking with an angry tone

Learn how to handle troubling behavior

Behavior and personality changes pose the biggest challenge when caring for a person living with dementia. The best way to deal with these challenges is to be patient, compassionate, flexible, and creative. It would also help if you maintain your sense of humor and don’t take things personally.

Important things to remember include:

  • You can’t change the person – The person you’re caring for has a progressive brain disorder, which has changed them on some level. Don’t attempt to change their behavior, otherwise, you will be met with resistance.
  • Talk with the doctor first – In some cases, behavioral problems may be a result of an underlying medical condition. For instance, a person may be suffering from the side effects of certain medications or is experiencing pain.
  • Find support from others – Caring for a person with dementia can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are incredible nursing homes such as Long House, who take good care of people with chronic illnesses.
  • What used to work may fail – The troubling behaviors are influenced by several factors. Considering these factors and the fact that this is a progressive disease, the solutions that work today may need to be modified tomorrow.

How to deal with wandering

People with dementia tend to wander aimlessly, for various reasons, such as medication side effects or boredom. It is also possible they are trying to fulfill a physical need such as hunger, thirst, or exercise. So, how can you minimize their movements?

  • Washrooms should be easily accessible
  • Spare time for exercising to reduce restlessness
  • Install locks that need a key
  • Ensure they don’t lack food and water
  • Install a monitoring system to watch over them


People with dementia can still enjoy life, and there are many activities they can enjoy both individually and with others. Helping them to remain physically and mentally active helps them to focus on the fun and positive aspects of life.