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How to Care for Someone With Dementia — Talkspace

Learn Tips for Daily Care for Someone with Dementia

Caring for someone with dementia can be challenging, especially if you’ve never been in a caregiver role. However, the right tools and strategies can ease your burden and help you meet your loved one’s needs, and even preserve their brain health. 

Create a consistent routine 

Dementia can make it hard for people to make plans and complete tasks due to severe cognitive impairment. Creating and sticking with a daily routine can help someone with dementia cope with the short-term memory issues that the disease causes. It often helps if you schedule daily tasks earlier in the day when symptoms typically are less severe. 

Encourage independence

While people with dementia need help and support, letting them play an active role in their own home care and daily tasks when possible is helpful. Studies show that dementia patients with more independence have a higher quality of life. So, for example, you could set out clothing, but try letting them dress independently. 

Track information 

Since dementia interferes with memory, finding ways to keep track of important information, like medical appointments and ongoing expenses is crucial. Use a calendar or daily planner to document this information. In the beginning stages, reminder apps and other tools can help people keep track of things they need to remember on their own while they still can. 

Install safety features

Dementia increases the risk of slips and falls. Safety features, such as shower chairs, raised toilet seats, and grab bars, can help to reduce those risks. When it comes to safety, it’s always best to be proactive. 

Communicate what you’re doing

People with dementia can quickly become confused, so you should communicate what you are about to do when providing care. For example, if you’re going to brush their teeth or wash their hair, clearly say what you will do before you begin. Clear communication can prevent disorientation and reduce distress.

“As we as a society become more aware about dementia, more daycare services, personal aides, and senior amber alerts are available. These services are a welcome addition to a caregiver’s toolkit. It’s important to know what is in your area that can provide added care in times of emergency and calm.”

Talkspace therapist Dr. Karmen Smith LCSW, DD.

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